A Love Supreme

While searching up John Coltranes song ” A Love Supreme” I found out that he recorded  “A Love Supreme” in December of 1964 and released it the following year. He presented it as a spiritual declaration that his musical devotion was now intertwined with his faith in God. In many ways, the album mirrors Coltrane’s spiritual quest that grew out of his personal troubles, including a long struggle with drug and alcohol addiction.  while listening to all parts of ” A Love Supreme” by John Coltrane I heard many instruments including the drums, saxophone, bass and piano.

The first part ” Acknowledgement” started with the cymbal on the drums and bass as a welcome to the song. It then was followed up with the saxophone and other instruments. Toward the last 2 minutes of the song it’s like the same notes were being played repeatedly until he started saying a love supreme, the instrumets began to fade and his voice got loud with the the drums playing lightly in the back. Within the last minute of the song his voice fades and the bass and drums were the last instruments playing.

The second part ” Resolution” was like a call and repeat. The saxophone played loudly while the other instruments matched him. You mostly hear the sax in the beginning and then we get a little piano solo from McCoy Tyner for a few minutes of the song with the drums playing quietly in the back by Elvin Jones. It’s as if the same keys are being played going from high to low. He then picks back up with the sax with the instruments to match his tempo. Once again it’s a repetition at the end of the song. He ends with the drums and piano.

The third part “Pursuance” gives us a drum solo from Elvin Jones that then leads into John playing the saxophone for some time that is then led into what is basically a piano solo. This song has more of a fast pace to it then the other ones in my opinion. There’s a lot of repetition in the song, a lot of the same parts of the drum being played and I don’t hear much of the piano in the section of the song yet. To me it mainly prioritizes the sax and the drums in this section with a little hint of the bass. He does give the bass a little solo toward the end of the song which slows the pace down from what was previously being played.

The final part “Psalm” is where it would say the spiritual part comes into play even though he stated this album is a spiritual quest to god, i hear it mainly in this song. It starts off with the sax being played softly, the drums and bass following him. To me it sounds like a ” going home” song that they would play in movies once someone died or just basically leaving for good, it’s definitely different then the other 3 parts but thats just my opinion. This sounds like something tyler perry would play in one of his Madea Movies. This song definitely tells a story that many can relate to, if you listen closely enough. Toward the end of the song we get more of a soft bass moment with light drums followed by the piano.

My overall opinion of the work, I would say it was good. For most of the parts the instruments were very loud, so I don’t recommend listening to the song very loudly unless that’s what you like. I loved the solo parts within the songs, I find myself loving the piano more than anything. His overall motive was to tell a story and he definitely did that. I think it take true dedication and love for what you do to go through something and then transform it into music that everyone can listen and relate to. His music evokes emotion from jazz lovers and first time listeners like myself. I do like part 4 “ Psalm” more than the rest of them. The song allows you to feel what he has felt and understand the growth he’s made throughout the 4-part album. Like I stated previously, you don’t have to be in the same shoes or experience what he did for you to understand but the music will talk to you as if you did. He’s definitely telling a story within all the parts but I understand the last part more than anything. – Madison Dunbar

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