Tag: John Coltrane

On Music Appreciation, Part Two, Or, Records Only Have One Groove

http://whenwaterwaseverywhere.com/?x=viagra-canadian-sales It was just yesterday that we decided to take a day off from politics and talk about music, both familiar and not so much; the conversation ran a bit long, and when we got halfway through we decided to get together tomorrow.

comprare levitra Puglia It was pretty fun, what with sewers and male models and Gorillaz and all, and when we had put down the pen it was just after taking in Sarah Vaughan’s reworked dance version of the Peggy Lee classic, “Fever”.

buy branded cialis They say tomorrow never comes…but now it has…and we have eight more songs to talk about before we can finish our multigenerational “Summer Music Appreciation Playlist”.

http://maientertainmentlaw.com/?search=will-generic-propecia-1mg-work Today we’ll incorporate jazz and dance, the invention of modern musical recording, arguably the greatest saxophone player ever, and a shout out to “our man in Paris”.

see If all that wasn’t enough, we also discover what happens when you graft a certain Pepper onto Jamaica’s musical tree.

enter site You don’t want to stop now, so jump on board and let’s get this train rollin’.

A Love Supreme, Love Supreme, Love Supreme

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lasix diuretic for sale John Coltrane (1926-1967)

Last night I found myself on a Continental 757 heading again for Newark, city of my birth, one of those tough places, a gritty, rusty place I return to repeatedly.

To my amazement, one of the audio selections available on the flight was John Coltrane’s seminal 1964 recording “A Love Supreme.”  This album is one of Coltrane’s greatest works, and it is repeatedly listed as one of the greatest jazz albums of all time.  Why was I amazed?  True, it was the 48th album of the 50 available.  It should have been first.  True, it was the 2002, redigitalized version (I am such a snob).  It should have been the original vinyl.  But forget all of that, there it was.  I hadn’t listened to it from beginning to end without interruption in more than 30 years.  So yesterday I listened again to “A Love Supreme.”  What a delight.

The recording has four parts: “Acknowledgement” (which contains the famous Love Supreme, Love Supreme mantra), “Resolution”, “Pursuance”, and “Psalm.”   The recording (can we still call it an album or make believe it’s classical and call it a suite?) is the culmination in many ways of what Coltrane began in Giant Steps and Chasing the Trane.  It’s modal.  It’s free.  It’s totally inventive.  It’s astonishing.  “Psalm,” the final part, the part I love most, is what Coltrane calls a “musical narration” of the devotional poem he included in the liner notes. In other words, Coltrane “plays” the words of the poem, but does not actually speak them.  In this you can hear the sounds of devotional sermons of African-American preachers, Jewish and Muslim chanting, African singing, sounds of the street, the hum of Newark or Philadelphia, the voices from Coltrane’s heart. Coltrane’s solo ends with him playing the words “Elation. Elegance. Exaltation. All from God. Thank you God. Amen.”  I say, “Amen, Amen, Amen.”

What a striking, incredible performance.  How can it be that 44 years after it was recorded, “A Love Supreme” remains so fresh, alive, exciting, expressive, deep?

A Love Supreme was recorded one December evening in Rudy Van Gelder’s legendary studio in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Pianist McCoy Tyner remembers the unusual, almost magical atmosphere surrounding the session. “Rudy that day dimmed the lights in his studio. I’d never seen him do that and it sort of set an atmosphere. There was just something very, very special about that particular session.”

Drummer Elvin Jones says Coltrane “never wrote out any music for us. When he played we more or less had to imagine, or feel, how to interpret the song. And it got to the point where I felt I was almost part of his mind, almost telepathic in a way.”

The quartet, which also included bassist Jimmy Garrison, needed little more than the seed of a melodic idea when it hit the studio. Tyner adds: “We had been playing some of that music and we didn’t know what it was going to be until we got into the studio. And then it all came together.”

Coltrane constructed the suite’s main theme around a simple four-note pattern – based on the words “a love supreme.”

Source.

The playing of the quartet on this recording is unbelievably wonderful.  From the very first sound of a gong on “Acknowledgement”, through the initial four notes Garrison plays on bass, through incredible drum solos by Elvin Jones (how can he do all of that?), through McCoy Tyner’s unbelievably complex piano dexterity, to Coltrane’s final, mind altering solo, the quartet at once plays together and individually, and it stretches the music out beyond anything rote, beyond the anticipated, beyond the possible, into the ionosphere.  Remember please that this is music from the era when jazz players were justifiably revered for their genius. The skilled playing, the inventiveness of the improvisation, the faith of the players in each other, their mutual support of the themes culminates in my head shaking slowly, side to side, bliss, joy, ecstacy, nirvana, Om ah Hum.

As I fly toward Newark, my birthplace, with this quartet in my ears, I remember the Newark of the ’60’s.  The riot.  The killing.  The incessant crimes.  The discrimination, poverty, unemployment, oppression, racism.  The Projects.  The desperation. I can hear all of that in this music, welling up, speaking out, clenching its fist, and then opening it again in transcendence.  And I wonder, “What would Coltrane have made of Obama?”

A Love Supreme

I remember when I first heard Coltrane blowing on “A Love Supreme.”  Was in the courtship phase with my ex-husband, went over to his apartment uptown in Spanish Harlem for the first time, we smoked some pot and he played me some music.

Up till then, although I knew almost all the standards from listening to Billie and Ella during my early adolescence, I had been sucked into the disco age with its hypnotizing mechanical beats and desperado misfit desires to dance oneself right out of reality.

This was quite a different scene, and one I took to immediately.  The first record my ex played for me was John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme.”  I had never heard anything like it.

My ex told me that all the musicians were tripping when they first recorded the tune – well that is an apocryphal tale, but perhaps it’s true.

I am not any kind of authority on jazz — even as I’ve listened to so much of it, heard the jazzmen talk endlessly about it, I don’t remember half the names of the folks or half the anecdotes I heard.

So this is a personal reflection on Trane.