Saturday, December 27, 2014


Whenever I point you towards anything jazz related, it does occur to me that many of you may avoid the whole genre like a plague. To put it as mildly as I can, you need to get over it. I dig music as raunchy, distorted and mangled as the next guy, and I know well the whole thought process that non-jazz people go through, particularly those with out of control rock 'n' roll tastes. I swear to you, listening to jazz will not make you a Kenny G fan. That's like saying that the Stooges are the gateway to Kenny Loggins.

My first friend that was into jazz was a guy named Eric, knew him from the beach. He named his cat Miles and had a bumper sticker for the local jazz station on his truck. But, knowing Eric, I respected that he was so into it, but it still didn't appeal to me. It was too far removed from my hip shit. Then a few years later it was Dino, who dug jazz so much that he was always telling me what I was missing out on. Blah, blah, blah, get out of my face Dino. Some years later, my neighbor Denis was over one night and we were shooting the shit about music. Talked turned to jazz and I told him that I wasn't really into it, but I didn't dislike it. I was jazzgnostic. He said that he used to be the same way, he didn't get it. But, his dad was a jazz fan, so he had music on hand to check out if he wanted to. He said that it was while listening to John Coltrane's A Love Supreme that he "got" jazz. His description made it sound like a light bulb went off, like some sort of musical epiphany. He made it sound so desirable that it was hard not to want to experience the same thing. So, I went out and bought A Love Supreme. Yeah, I know, like lightning's gonna strike twice. But it did hit me, hard enough that the door had been opened.

A Love Supreme was recorded fifty years ago, in December of 1964. I ran into a mention of that on a blog, and went digging. Here's some cool stuff, starting with the first two movements of A Love Supreme, "Acknowledgement" and "Resolution", which also comprise the first side of the LP. I wasn't able to find the two from side two, "Pursuance" add "Psalm", but the full album can be heard streaming at YouTube. Also check out the video above. It's the only existing footage of Coltrane performing A Love Supreme, the only time he ever performed it live. It's only a portion of the entire piece. Footage of half of the performance was destroyed, lost forever.

There's a thing on the Smithsonian site about photos of the session. They'd gone missing for fifty years. There's also links to a documentary, and another blog with nine more notable songs from other LPs. If you're not in the mood, at least bookmark some of these. They may come in handy some day.

John Coltrane - Acknowledgement mp3 at Get The Curse (?)
John Coltrane - Resolution mp3 at The Gio (?)
John Coltrane - Nine more songs at Rubber City Review
John Coltrane - A Love Supreme (streaming) at YouTube Entire LP
Saint John Coltrane - BBC Documentary at YouTube
John Coltrane - Official site

No comments: