The Impact of John Coltrane’s Album: A Love Supreme

By MacKenzie Fox

The impact of this album was superficial. It was impactful in different ways such as: influencing other artists, being the highlight of John Coltrane’s Career, musical narration, and spiritual representation through jazz.

Being Influenced By A Masterpiece

Many were influenced by John Coltrane’s Album: A Love Supreme such as American Hippies. Those who’s musical works were influenced by this album consisted of The Byrds, Carlos Santana, Joshua Redman, U2, and John McLaughlin. There were around 500,00 copies sold, the most albums sold of John Coltrane’s music, causing this album to be the highlight of his musical career. There were many different opinions formed on this album as well when it came down to interpreting his music. Some saw it as hymn-like modern jazz, others as contemporary classical jazz and some saw it as mix of jazz and rock music.

A Love Supreme Album

This album was created mainly by John Coltrane with the help of his group: Jimmy Garrison (bass), McCoy Tyner (pianist), and Elvin Jones (drummer). Many listeners referenced this album as a musical narration, it’s as if he was telling a story with musical sounds instead of actual words. This specifically occurred most in the Psalm part of his album. His album consisted of four parts: Acknowledgement, Resolution, Pursuance & Psalm in that order. In Psalm he played the words of a poem using a saxophone instead of words, some saw this piece as paying respect to sermons within the African-American Church. He portrayed spiritual representation using jazz by telling musical stories about his addiction, how his spirituality helped him grow from that, and his journey in general with his spirituality. In this way we can see the impact spirituality had on his album, especially since he referred to his album as a “Thank You to God.” Below is the fourth piece of his album, “Psalm.”

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