A Love Supreme

The album, “A Love Supreme”, was released in January of 1965 by John Coltrane. It was recorded in one studio session with Elvin Jones on drums, pianist McCoy Tyner, and bassist Jimmy Garrison. This album encapsulates Coltrane’s turnaround in his life. After struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, Coltrane had a spiritual awakening and devoted himself to God, and this album could be seen as his thank you to God.

In Part 1- Acknowledgement, the tone was set with the drums played by Jones combining with the saxophone. It was interesting to listen to Coltrane improvise on the same notes towards giving each a new sound, until we can hear the words “A Love Supreme” grow louder and fading the two remaining instruments, the bass and drums.

In Part 2-Resolution, we hear a short bass solo before Garrison is met with all of the other instruments. McCoy Tyner is given a piano solo, with Elvin Jones plays drums in the back to keep a rhythm. In this part, specifically you can hear the instruments rotating between melody and harmony and it keeps the listener engaged to see what will happen next.

In Part 3- Pursuance, the drums come in by themselves for a solo and are given another solo, which was one of my favorite parts. Usually drums are used as background instruments and used to keep the pace, but to have a moment to shine before it was joined by the rest of the instruments was refreshing. I feel as though this was the part where each instrument was given a chance to be in the spotlight.

In Part 4- Psalm, we immediately feel a closing sense as the album is drawing to a lose. I would say that this is the most spiritual part of the entire album. Coltrane’s saxophone isn’t only telling a story, I feel as though it is crying out and letting everything go through music. The solo captures, Coltrane’s journey from addiction, to life of spirituality.

“A Love Supreme” is one of the greatest jazz albums, if not one of the greatest albums ever in the history of music. Coltrane was able to convey many different aspects and emotions through his music while also giving his band their time to shine. I find myself going back to listen to this album very often.

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