By Tony Whyton
Recorded by way of his quartet in one consultation in 1964, A Love superb is commonly thought of John Coltrane's magnum opus and one of many maximum jazz albums of all time.
In past A Love perfect, Tony Whyton explores either the musical complexities of A Love preferrred and the album's seminal significance in jazz historical past. Marking Coltrane's transition from the bebop and tough bop of his prior recordings to the unfastened jazz variety perfected in the course of the remainder of his occupation, the album additionally embodies the deep spirituality that characterised the ultimate years of his existence. The titles of the 4 half suite--"Acknowledgment," "Resolution," "Pursuance," and "Psalm"--along with the poem Coltrane composed for inclusion within the liner notes, which he "recites" instrumentally in "Psalm," replicate the non secular element of the album, a high quality that contributes to its mystique and symbolic value in the canon of significant jazz recordings. yet Whyton additionally exhibits how A Love very best demanding situations the various conventional, unreflective assumptions that permeate jazz culture--the binary oppositions among improvisation and composition, black track and white tune, concert and studio recording. He seriously examines the various mythologizing narratives approximately how the album used to be conceived and recorded and approximately what it indicates by way of the trajectory of Coltrane's own existence. Sifting throughout the feedback of past due Coltrane, Whyton indicates methods of hearing those recordings that transcend the normal ideologies of mainstream jazz perform and open the track to a much wider variety of responses.
full of clean insights into probably the most influential recordings in jazz background, past A Love excellent is an quintessential source for jazz students, jazz musicians, and fanatics and aficionados in any respect degrees.
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Additional resources for Beyond A Love Supreme: John Coltrane and the Legacy of an Album
2: A Love Supreme—John Coltrane’s opening “fanfare” phrase. 3: My Favorite Things, bars 1–9 (5–2–1 cells). When playing this passage, the thematic and harmonic relationship to My Favorite Things is clear. Indeed, the 1–2–5 motivic cell that Ravi Coltrane describes provides the building blocks for My Favorite Things and A Love Supreme. 4: A Love Supreme opening melody (transposed for comparison) and 5–2–1 cell structure. We need to consider why these connections are not discussed in any of the Coltrane literature.
14 Musically, the structure does not have to be read as symmetrical either, with the first three parts containing regular meters, identifiable chordal vamps, and progressions, and employing rhythm conventionally. Within the first three sections, the rhythm section perform in a fairly traditional way, keeping time and accompanying Coltrane either by reacting to his playing or being proactive, driving the tempo or interjecting phrases or solo sections within the musical dialogue. However, “Psalm” is a different experience altogether.
But also plays a role in the mythmaking of seminal studio albums. The Rudy van Gelder studio in Englewood Cliffs, for example, has become a shrine to E L AT I O N — E L E G A N C E — E X A LTAT I O N [ 21 ] jazz, a mythic recording space that gave birth to recordings such as A Love Supreme. Although improvisation or liveness is still foregrounded in descriptions of seminal recordings, the growing canonical status of jazz means that “works” (or jazz compositions) are fulfilling a more central role in the story of jazz.