Happy 50th Anniversary to John Coltranes A Love Supreme, originally recorded December 9, 1964.
For the jazz-obsessed crate-diggers among us, one of the greatest pleasures in discovering an LP is studying the supporting personnel typically outlined on the albums back cover. Without ever hearing the record itself, if you identify that the support group is comprised of top-notch players, you take your chances, hand over your Andrew Jackson give or take a few dollars and are rewarded for your leap of faith much more often than not.
Case in point: the John Coltrane Quartet that features on A Love Supreme, an album that many professional critics and more casual jazz aficionados alike regard as one of the greatest in the infinitely rich history of recorded jazz music. For me, its unequivocally numero uno on the list of my most cherished jazz long players of all time. And while the record is a Coltrane-dominated affair, to be sure, its primarily the flawless synergy and graceful musicianship exhibited by the formidable foursome of Coltrane (tenor saxophone, vocals), McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (double bass), and Elvin Jones (drums) that inspires my unconditional admiration.
From the opening notes that sound like morning breaking, an awakening of sorts that welcomes the listener to a new day full of hope and promise, to Garrisons unforgettable, meditative four-note bassline that kicks in around the 0:30 mark (one that I find myself humming on the regular), the band is on point, never easing up on the throttle. And when you consider that this 4-part suite was recorded by the group at the famous Van Gelder Studio in just one day, the tightness of the playing and pure, spiritually-derived beauty of the compositions become even more remarkable to behold.
One of the most magnificent symphonies of song Ive ever heard, and likely ever will. Not to mention quite possibly the most apropos title of an album ever. My love for A Love Supreme is supreme indeed.
My Favorite Song: Part I: Acknowledgement
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