The Jazzy John Coltrane

By: Alexia Khalil

Jazzy Journey

Born in North Carolina, the composer and saxophonist, John Coltrane, is known for his remarkable music career specifically in the Jazz era. John Coltrane’s most notable piece of work is his mixtape, titled A Love Supreme. Here, John professed his love and devotion to the man upstairs, and describes how he overcame his struggles with addiction. Implementing different emotions, tones, expression and instruments, he created a masterpiece consisting of four parts, Acknowledgement, Pursuance, Psalm, Resolution where he embarks on different intricate details about his life. 

Taking a closer, jazzier look at Pursuance

I personally enjoyed this portion of the album specifically. It is included in the third part of A Love Supreme and labeled Pursuance. It begins with a chaotic drum solo, followed by an even more tumultuous cadence on the saxophone. Coltrane did this purposefully to demonstrate the emotions he was feeling in effort to help us better understand him as an artist. The importance of expression is drenched within this project and taught all throughout his music. As the piece continues, the tempo gradually evolves into something more relaxing and soothing. This great contrast from the opening of the song allows his audience to see his growth. He was once lost in the sauce, but with a little fine tuning, he was able to return to himself and become whole again. For this work of art, he is forever admired.

A Jazzy Impact

A Love Supreme set the tone for many artists within this genre. It was well received by its audience and praised heavily for its spiritual elements. Many believed this is where “spiritual jazz”, as a genre, was born. It included elements from all types of preexisting genres like jazz, blues, gospel, and folk. In addition to that, this musical open letter went gold in the United States and Europe, while also receiving a Grammy nomination. Needless to say, John Coltrane’s legacy lives on through his music, and the new music inspired by him today. 

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