A Turning Point in Jazz: “A Love Supreme” by John Coltrane
A Turning Point in Jazz: “A Love Supreme” by John Coltrane
It’s difficult to overstate the significance of John Coltrane’s 1965 masterpiece, A Love Supreme. Almost immediately upon its release it became a top-selling jazz album. Over the years it has been regarded as one of the most important albums of any genre.

The four-part suite was recorded in a single session on December 9, 1964 where Coltrane’s saxophone prowess was supported by his longtime bandmates McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums.

If you’re lucky enough to own a copy of this amazing work, you know that as soon as the needle hits the first track something amazing is about to happen. The gong is struck, a short sax line is played, and cymbals wash away to a rhythmic bass line. There is a feeling of being carried away, which is exactly what Coltrane intended when he wrote the suite.

Rolling Stone called the work a “legendary album-long hymn of praise” and The Daily Telegraph has referred to it as a turning point in jazz’s evolution from the “hip and cool” to the “mystical and messianic.” The listener can hear all of these things and more as we move from the somber “Acknowledgement” of the first track into the swinging “Resolution” of the second movement. In the third and fourth phases, “Pursuance” and “Psalms” the listener is further imbued with the poetry and majesty of Coltrane’s creation.

A Love Supreme is a must-have for any record collection. Each listen brings its own reward. The beautiful copy we carry at Fourth Rock Records has a gatefold sleeve containing liner notes from John Coltrane himself.