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Sunday, April 24, 2016

John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (IAS #17)

Continuing our buggy ride through jazz territory this week with:


  1. I like to read your canon jazz reviews as I am also not a convert to the genre in any real way. It's odd to me to go to RYM profiles and see people with otherwise middlebrow taste (like myself) handing out fives to these jazz classics - makes me wonder if they just vibe with it on a background music basis (as I often do) but are 'deafened' by its status more than any real connection to it. But I may be projecting. This is one of the better jazz albums for me as it has an overarching structure and doesn't de(?)volve into, what comes across to me, as mostly noodling.

  2. George; I guess most readers aren't particularly avid listeners of jazz, which I guess makes sense since - despite the fact I thought you've (again!) nailed this review - you yourself seem this way inclined as well.
    I think the metric of a great jazz album is, as you've said, the emotional / transportive powers of it (is this not simply for music as a whole?). And despite not being a religious man myself, this one works in this way better than pretty much any other instrumental jazz, with maybe only Sketches of Spain or one of Mingus' many masterpieces managing to rival it. Coltrane's passion just emanates from every note he plays, so I find that, regardless of conceptual heft or returning themes or any other thematic / compositional component to the album that makes it 'formally' great, the hot, sweaty, almost lunatic atmosphere puts me under its spell like few other albums do. But then, I think I've always 'gotten' jazz (chalk it up to brainwashing by my parents) and can always resort to marvelling at the use of phrygian or lydian modes that Coltrane resorts to more than usual on this album to give it that weird, disconcerting atmosphere.
    Loving your work as usual, here's to hoping you turn your one-of-a-kind critical eye to more jazz in the future!