Psalm: A Love Supreme

By Kalila Farrakhan

John Coltrane is a phenomenal jazz musician who is well-known for his mastery of the saxophone. “A Love Supreme”, one of Coltrane’s most famous works, is a 32-minute masterpiece that is broken up into four parts: Acknowledgement, Resolution, Pursuance, and Psalm. “A Love Supreme” is known for evoking thought and emotion out of its listeners. Psalm will be the focus point of the rest of the reflection. 

Psalm, the fourth part of “A Love Supreme”, truly took me on a journey. I felt spoken to without hearing words and touched without physical contact. The drums in the beginning of Psalm brought me back to the African drums used at the beginning of African-American music. The language-like qualities of Psalm made sense after reading Lewis Porter’s essay about “A Love Supreme”. Porter states that John Coltrane’s contributions to Psalm was based off of a poem that wrote with the same name. Each note in the song corresponded with a syllable in the poem. Porter’s essay was very enlightening and made me appreciate John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme” more for all of the work and thought put into Psalm. With Psalm ending in the same African drums that it began with, it brought an idea of one going back to one’s roots, which I thought was beautiful. Overall, I found “A Love Supreme”, specifically Psalm to be well-performed, emotionally-packed, and thought-provoking. 

Attached below is the link to “A Love Supreme” and another one of my favorite John Coltrane songs. 

References

 

Porter, L. (1998). “A Love Supreme” – John Coltrane. Library of Congress. https://www.loc.gov/static/programs/national-recording-preservation-board/documents/Coltrane.pdf

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