COMPOSERS: John Coltrane
WORKS: A Love Supreme
PERFORMER: Coltrane (ten); McCoy Tyner (p); Jimmy Garrison (b); Elvin Jones (d)
CATALOGUE NO: IMP 11552 AAD
This 1964 modally based album has so far sold a million copies. The music is organised around a three-note motif occurring through parts 1-3 of Coltrane’s four-part invocation to God. A remarkable combination of intensity and serenity in Coltrane’s playing, in one of the most honest musical performances on record, extends its appeal beyond the jazz constituency. Even today, the spiritual connotation threatens to overwhelm its musical significance in Coltrane’s career, in which it represents the culmination of his ‘modal’ period (1960-65).
Although Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue (Sony) was influential in introducing modes to jazz, Coltrane used them far more extensively, his methods influencing generations of jazz and rock musicians. A landmark recording, re-mastered and presented with rare session photos. Indispensable. Stuart Nicholson