Artist: John Coltrane
Album: A Love Supreme (1965)
One of the most masterful brains of avant-garde jazz, John Coltrane and his sax-wielding were accompanied by unmatched ease and emotion. Every band session, LP, and private concert a new and fresh, nose-first dive into sound experiment, the ever-relevant artist’s approach was bracingly wild and unrehearsed–and today, still mimicked.
The iconic A Love Supreme, Coltrane’s last major studio album before his death just two years later, demonstrates his mid-’60s peak of abstractness over the duration of its 4-piece, 32-minute set. Its artistic intent to execute ‘free jazz’ in full form, A Love Supreme operates upon a metaphor of Coltrane’s own, spiritual self-conflict.
As the music progresses, Coltrane’s quartet (his sax, McCoy Tiner’s piano, Elvin Jones’ drums, and Jimmy Garrison’s bass) unveils to listeners a stream-of-consciousness style jazz symphony, with scattered solos throughout, discordant chants, and cavernous background bass.
“Resolution” is the heart of the album, serving as a placid, finger-snapping juncture between the dynamic, unrestrained “Acknowledgment” and the triumphant closure of “Pursuance/Psalm”. It’s sort of the work’s contradicting, calmative center—a metaphorical pause from the real-life chaos Coltrane modeled the LP’s theme after. The seven-minute track involves a 16-bar, creeping bass intro that turns to fluttering, syncopated piano and purring sax. Jones’ lightly-swept, feathery percussion gives the track its cozy, java-house ambience.
Check it out below: