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115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece.
Arguably the best album John Coltrane ever recorded and consistently mentioned as the greatest album in jazz, "A Love Supreme" lives up to everything that it is discussed as.

Coltrane was riding an artistic high-- enormously successful thanks to 1960's "My Favorite Things", he had quite a bit more latitude than many musicians, a producer who would support his...
Published on October 18, 2005 by Michael Stack

versus
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A WARNING TO VINYL PURCHASERS
A very weak transfer. Best to keep looking out for the original orange and black Impulse lp, or, if you can afford it/find it, the 45 rpm reissue I believe was AS-77. This was thoroughly disappointing, Jones, Tyner and Garrison are reduced to sounding like a polite backing band on this transfer some unknown reason. This is one recording where the cd is still superior...
Published 16 months ago by John


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115 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece., October 18, 2005
By 
Michael Stack (North Chelmsford, MA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Love Supreme (Audio CD)
Arguably the best album John Coltrane ever recorded and consistently mentioned as the greatest album in jazz, "A Love Supreme" lives up to everything that it is discussed as.

Coltrane was riding an artistic high-- enormously successful thanks to 1960's "My Favorite Things", he had quite a bit more latitude than many musicians, a producer who would support his every experiment in Bob Thiele, and a band willing to go wherever he needed (pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison and drummer Elvin Jones) who he'd developed a rapport with over three years of constantly working together. He'd just recorded the stunning "Crescent" several months earlier and entered the studio in December to record this suite.

The piece, as indicated by the liner notes Coltrane penned, is spiritually informed, a prayer offered to God. The music itself is based on relatively traditional structures, but Coltrane manages to juggle a number of influences and sounds-- shades of Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler all run through it. The suite is broken in four movements-- "Acknowledgement" is patient and building, revolving around a four-note bass motif-- Trane is exploratory and yearning. After a brief bass solo, this moves into the frantic "Resolution", where Coltrane rails against his theme, turns things over to a oddly meditative yet equally frantic Tyner, and then solos himself in Monkish fashion-- extrapolating off his theme and exploring the sort of spiritual ecstacy that he heard in Ayler. A brief drum solo signals the transition to "Pursuance"-- Jones is full of energy and explosiveness and this sustains throughout the piece, Coltrane's extended solo is nothing short of stunning, full of fire and energy before suddenly taming down and surrendering to Jones briefly then an astonishing solo by Garrison. Finally, the long exhale after the tension-- "Psalm", finds Coltrane meditative, almost wistful, and informed with a sense of optimistic melancholy.

When it's all done, it's an experience. Many listeners find this the first truly unlistenable Coltrane album-- too much for its own good, but it certainly leaves its mark. My assessment is that the album is nothing short of stunning.
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139 of 148 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Supreme: A Musical Revelation, September 17, 2003
This review is from: A Love Supreme (Audio CD)
In a time when jazz was becoming less popular, this four-part masterpiece recorded in 1964, is John Coltrane's attempt to give thanks to God. In doing so, and regardless of your religious beliefs, he delivers a performance in the company of McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass) and Elvin Jones (drums) that makes it clear what he meant when he said in 1966 he planned "to become a saint" in response to the question about his plans for the next decade. Sadly, he died of cancer not too long after that statement, but he left a legacy of work that -like this album- are testimony of what an inspired soul can let flow and give to others. Today, almost forty years after its original release, Coltrane's memory is alive and kicking and his timeless work continues to inspire musicians of all genres across the world. In my journey of discovery of this beautiful jazz music, this album has turned out to be a true musical revelation and I want to share it with you too.
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Jazz Masterpiece by the 'Trane, December 12, 2000
This review is from: A Love Supreme (Audio CD)
This album is pure and raw Jazz. Every song demonstrates Coltrane's prowess on the sax. In one word this album is 'emotion.' Coltrane seems to poor his whole heart into this project. All the players are in peak performance mode and it shows as each take their turn demonstrating their talents. On the track titled "Resolution" McCoy Tyner struts his stuff on the piano, and Coltrane makes his sax literally cry. I would consider this one of the greatest Jazz albums of all time.
Historically speaking, this was one of only two albums that Coltrane recorded all year in 1964. Coltrane's other album that year was titled "Crescent." "Love Supreme" was awarded gold status by 1970 and I can see why, it is a great album.
The beginning of "Pursuance/Part 4 - Psalm" is a drum set that is wonderful and then Coltrane comes screaming into the song with a wonderful brassy sax sound. This is followed by Tyner who is all over the keys of the piano. This last track is pure and raw emotional jazz.
This album could hold a slot next to Miles Davis' work titled "Kind of Blue." The album is dedicated to God, whom Coltrane says in the inserts, is the "Love Supreme." If you don't have this album then you are missing one of the greatest Jazz album's ever recorded. Get it and see why all the reviews below rave on about this masterpiece.
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68 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best album ever., November 17, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Love Supreme (Audio CD)
John Coltrane, one of the true masters of jazz, affected every corner of the jazz world when he released this album. The sheer power and beauty of the music breathed new life into jazz and streched the imaginations of many. To this day, A Love Supreme is an album that can be an inspiration to all people around the globe. His music is so extraordinarily powerful - it can make one laugh, cry, get angry, beam in utter rapture, and love and fear God.
To me, on this album John Coltrane not only grabs at every human emotion, but manages to become that emotion. That's what the album really is - it is raw human emotion, pulsating out of every drum beat, every bass hit, every chord, and every saxophone note. When John Coltrane created this album with his quartet, it almost sounds as if he were possessed by God and became everything the human soul embodies.
While some may claim that the album isn't good for relaxing after work or on a Sunday afternoon, I would say that exacly the opposite is true. Every time I listen to that album, I am put in a trance, a state so indescribably euphoric that I could exist like that forever.
But alas, the album is only 45 minutes long...
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Astounding in every respect, October 4, 2008
By 
finulanu ""the mysterious"" (Here, there, and everywhere) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Love Supreme (Audio CD)
This is not a good album. It is not a great album. It is not a fantastic, magnificent, or wonderful album. I don't think those words are enough for it. I listen to this album quite often, but I don't have to. It's playing in my head all the time. I don't even know if "album" is the proper terminology here - despite my staunch agnostic beliefs, I consider it more of a spiritual experience. A Love Supreme is Coltrane's masterwork, a stunning three-part suite devoted to God. Over the course of his illustrious, all-too-brief career, Coltrane made many superlative albums, be it the "sheets of sound" blues on Giant Steps, the traditionalist triumph My Favorite Things, the introspective Coltrane's Sound, or the mind-blowing free jazz experiments found on The Major Works of John Coltrane. But this album outstrips all of them. Simply put, it's an uncomparable work of art.

This marks the end of an era for Coltrane. From the time he captured the imaginations of jazz fans worldwide via his stunning work with Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, as well as the many classic albums of his early career (see Blue Train, Lush Life and Soultrane), he was arguably the most respected saxophone of his generation. This would be his last album to receive universal acclaim, the last to be widely recognized as a classic even today. Shortly after this album came out, Coltrane would take his music into a new, controversial direction: free jazz. Albums like Meditations and the powerful pieces collected on The Major Works of John Coltrane were less than conventional, making art and beauty out of chaos to convey the unrest of the late '60s. However, not everybody understood these albums for what they were, and they remain begging for reexamination.

However, most agree that A Love Supreme as the peak. Whether he would go off the deep end immediately afterwords or continue making fantastic music is a matter of personal preference and is irrelevant to this review.

The album begins with a cascade of notes coming from Coltrane's sax, followed by a simple four-note bass theme that is repeated throughout the album. Coltrane solos over this theme, and his playing reflects the full specturm of human emotions, from joy to rage and everywhere in between. He often dances around the theme himself, adding embellishments wherever he deems appropriate. When the solo ends, he switches to chanting the title. This is followed by a brief bass solo.

This solo leads into the second part, "Resolution," the most fiery track on the album. A vaguely Eastern melody is established, then destroyed as Coltrane shoots fireworks out of his saxophone, dredging his demons through music. But perhaps the best part of the entire record is McCoy Tyner's piano solo, where he upstages Coltrane - a hard task, considering the quality of Trane's solo. But hey, it's McCoy Tyner, you know?

After "Resolution" comes a lengthy but captivating drum solo, which ushers in "Pursuance." Once again, Coltrane is incorporating elements of world music into his melodies. This time the sound is European. The song closes with a long, but once again fascinating and lyrical, bass solo with shades of Charles Mingus in it. On vinyl pressings of this album, "Pursuance" flows directly into "Psalm" as if the two were one song. "Psalm" ends the album on an appropriately dramatic note - as it comes to a close, drummer Elvin Jones incorporates tympani and cymbal rolls. It is also the album's most experimental piece. Coltrane's melody here is the meter of a poem he wrote, dedicated to God, and included in the album's liner notes. Since the poem is set to an atypical meter, one could almost see this as a direct predecessor to free jazz. It creates the illusion of Coltrane reading the poem passionately through his saxophone, and it is a beautiful way to end a beautiful album.

I've written about seven hundred words about this album already, and I could probably write seven hundred more before I even scratched the surface of this true work of art. Words really aren't enough. The music speaks for itself. It's one of those rare things that can honestly inspire a sense of reverence in me. Nothing is sacred to me. Nothing, except for A Love Supreme.
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This album's reputation precedes it - listen and discover, November 18, 2005
By 
A C SHIELDS (melbourne , australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Love Supreme (Audio CD)
One of the problems about music writing is that some albums get built up so much , that they become cheapened and burdened by all the praise heaped on them - and the praise is REALLY heaped on this album .

After all , a great record is an accident . It is so hard to have all the factors come together at the same time - the songs , the musicians , a good engineer and a producer who will let the recording experience unfold without trying to impose a personal 'sound' on the finished product .

Despite all these things being in place , things can still go wrong .

On this album , it all went right .

The main reason for that is the great empathy , understanding and respect between the musicians .

To my mind , this album is about a state of mind and its unfolding . If that sounds obscure , it's not meant to be .

I can't think of any other way to put it .

Listen to this once in your life , even if you don't like jazz .

You may find something missing from other music after you listen to this . Stick with it , as the mood changes throughout .

It is a classic , but it's also a record made by human beings . Do keep that in mind .
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Start to your Jazz Collection, February 2, 2001
By 
Joseph C. Landon Jr. (Lewisville, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A Love Supreme (Audio CD)
I'm not exactly an expert with Jazz music. I mainly listen to alternative and classic rock but I'm always open to new types of music. So when a friend of mine said he was getting into John Coltrane, I had to find out what the greatness was all about. So I bought myself a copy of "Love Supreme". I was not dissappointed. I was not only impressed by the music itself, but the musical talents off all the players. This is not purely a John Coltrane record; McCoy Tyner makes a huge impact on this CD as well with his piano playing. I believe it's the second song where he performs an extended solo. Coltrane certainly let his musicians have their space. But Coltrane is certainly the star. His sax playing has as much personality as any vocalist could possibly have. It's almost hypnotizing. I love playing this while relaxing. I also own "My Favorite Things" but I like this one a little better. It's a certainly a must-have to anyones CD collection, no matter what music you normally listen to.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Universal love, May 5, 2000
This review is from: A Love Supreme (Audio CD)
The first jazz album recommended to me was Kind Of Blue, the first I ever listened to. It was a strange feeling to be sitting suddenly in a room where an entire genre of music had become unmasked and was no longer mysterious - this strange, sometime terrifying thing, jazz.
But I was not overly moved. It took this album, A Love Supreme, another "crucial" jazz experience, to move me. What a personal experience! - and yet a universal one - everyone who has written here has expressed a love for the music, or the performer, or both, and what a confirmation of greatness for Coltrane that his own message of love for divinity has spread to all music-lovers. And yet, jazz and Coltrane in particular impart a humility which few other musical forms can claim - where the soloist is merely a medium, his composition "merely" improvisation.
The only statement here which I do not agree with is one encouraging patience - patience with this, perhaps, but don't wait to get it. Challenging it may prove initially, but beyond the intense four-note bass-line, and the energetic Resolution, comes a true resolution in the finale, and the Psalm. Really alas for the brevity of the piece - 45 minutes have never seemed so little...but does it get better than this? - just restart, and the reverence continues.
Truly one of the essential albums of this century.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ?!*%&*!$%!&!*!, February 18, 2005
This review is from: A Love Supreme (Audio CD)
How did a human being do this?! So otherworldy and yet so tightly constructed and economical. So furious and atonal and yet so gorgeous. Coltrane must be an alien or an angel or a chemical experiment gone out of control. You heard it here first. Oh yeah, his drummer is pretty out of this world too.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rare album, August 17, 2005
This review is from: A Love Supreme (Audio CD)
I bought this album two days ago, and I'm still trying to take it all in. At first I was aprehensive about there only being four songs, but not any more. I'm beating around the bush here, so I'll cut to the chase. This is quite possibly the best piece of music I have ever heard. This is better than (in my humble opinion)Kind of Blue, the Brandenburgh Concertos, Avalanche by Matthew Good, or Mellon Collie and the infinite sadness. I only seriously started listening to jazz less than a year ago, but right away I latched on to Monk and Davis (because I play piano and trumpet), not to mention Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. I first heard Jhon Coltrne on the Essential Miles Davis on "So What" and was blwon away. I picked up Kind of Blue and in my opinion, Coltrane dominates the entire album. Naturaly I went and got "A Love Supreme", it being widely regarded as his masterpeice. Each of the four tracks is stunning and unique. The diverse introduction of "Aknowledgement", the urbane, slightley bluesey feel of "Resolution", the breathtaking energy of "Pursuance", and the almost orchestral climaxe of "Psalm". All in all, this is a slice of pure joy.

A note to the person who gave one star saying this was old music for old people and complained about the lack of guitars: I'm fifteen years old, and I enjoy "screaming guitars" (if it's actulay well done) If you were expecting guitars, what were you thinking: this is jazz, not heavy metal.
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A Love Supreme [Vinyl]
A Love Supreme [Vinyl] by John Coltrane (Vinyl - 1995)
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