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A Love Supreme Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Deluxe Edition

4.8 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, October 29, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

John Coltrane's masterwork is reckoned by many to be the greatest jazz album of all time. That this release contains a new mastering from newly discovered master tapes would be momentous enough; that the second disc contains the Quartet's only live performance of the suite at the Antibes Jazz Festival in 1965-oft-bootlegged, never released- and the long-rumored sextet performance of the opening movement with Archie Shepp and Art Davis is a flat-out revelation!

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A Love Supreme is a suite about redemption, a work of pure spirit and song, that encapsulates all the struggles and aspirations of the 1960s. Following hard on the heels of the lyrical, swinging Crescent, A Love Supreme heralded Coltrane's search for spiritual and musical freedom, as expressed through polyrhythms, modalities, and purely vertical forms that seemed strange to some jazz purists, but which captivated more adventurous listeners (and rock fellow travelers such as the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Cream, and the Byrds), while initiating a series of volatile, unruly prayer offerings, including Kulu Su Mama, Ascension, Om, Meditations, Expression, Interstellar Space. From the urgent speech-like timbre of his tenor, to the serpentine textures and earthy groove of Elvin Jones's drumming, Coltrane's suite proceeds with escalating intensity, conveying a hard-fought wisdom and a beckoning serenity in the prayer-like drones of "Psalm," where Jones rolls and rumbles like thunder as Garrison and Tyner toll away suggestively--all the while Coltrane searches for that one climactic note worthy of the love he wants to share. --Chip Stern
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 29, 2002)
  • Rmst DLX Dig ed. edition
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered, Deluxe Edition
  • Label: Impulse!
  • ASIN: B00006K06N
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,524 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
John Coltrane's "A Love Supreme" is an elegant masterpiece. A flawlessly conceived suite with spiritual overtones, "A Love Supreme" features the saxaphonist at his most reverend and focused. The repackaged edition is an example of what happens when you take a great record and make it even better. Disc one has the entire album painstakingly remastered by Rudy Van Gelder, and the sound is significantly superior the original monaural mix. On the new version, we witness a huge improvement in clarity, and Coltrane projects even more fully than we've heard before. But disc two, which clocks in at 77 minutes, is the Real Deal for Coltrane completists. Those who have bootlegged copies of the France live recording can now toss them out the window, for that performance, along with a few alternative takes of other tracks, surfaces here. The live performance, recorded in July 1965, is a must-listen for any lover of jazz. In fact, in many respects, I think it's just as good as the original version. For example, I was really blown away by the live rendition of "Pursuance," which kicks off with a fierce two-and-a-half minute drum solo by Elvin Jones that must be heard to be believed. Coltrane then goes full throttle with his sax and amazingly holds his own during this 21-minute excursion which is sure to leave you amazed. "A Love Supreme" is one of those albums that you can't say "no" to. If you have to own any copy of this classic, this version is definitely the way to go. Not only is the sound quality better, but the outstanding live performance and alternative takes on disc 2 provide a more intimate look at this recording. Highly, highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Rudy Van Gelder and the entire Impulse team deserve tremendous praise and gratitude for what a remarkable transformation in sound quality they have delivered on the studio and live performances of John Coltrane's immortal and masterful A LOVE SUPREME. Unless you've been listening to Afghan radio the past 35 years, you should have no doubt as to the importance of this work to the entire spectrum of Twentieth Century music. It is hard to imagine a more important composition or performance from any artist, let alone someone as immortal himself as the wonder inspiring John Coltrane.
That said, as happy as I have been with all of my copies, from vinyl to previous remasters, I was completely blown away by what I heard for the first time. I've had a number of Euro copies of the live performance, and by comparison, this CD makes those renditions sound like a cover band.
You'll have to take it at that. There is not enough space to discuss the overwhelming significance and the mighty protean performances in the studio and on the concert stage by Trane, Tyner, Garrison and Jones. They were firing on all cylinders at this point in their careers and what a mightily profound and soul stirring legacy they have left the rest of us mere mortals. John was clearly contemplating the image of God in this work, and this passion infused here is as terrifying as that of Francis of Assissi in mid-stigmata, or Gurdijeff in whirling dervish absorption, or the Boddhisatva at the moment of enlightenment. Passionately mystical, this work is one of a love supreme by its creator for his Creator. To think now you can hear it as closely as it is possible as John himself might have heard it - well, I can not tell you the stunningly profound impact it will have upon you.
Purchase this CD. It will live with you forever.
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Format: Audio CD
Not only does this set have wonderful remastered sound and the inclusion of the French performance to its name, as many reviewers have noted, but also studio takes of various movements played by an expanded ensemble, which are interesting bonuses.

Regarding the sound quality, let's begin with that of the main course, the original 1964 studio take of A Love Supreme. Balance is improved a little, and all the instruments sound fuller and truer. They've really polished a gem here, considering the original sound (as with any Impulse! recording) was good to begin with. Of course one couldn't expect any less with Blue Note's engineering maestro Rudy van Gelder at the helm. And as far as the sound of the live performance goes, the bass and piano sometimes get a little too far back for comfort, but even then they are still audible, so there is no real complaint about the recording quality of the live recording.

As for the live performance's playing - some of this stuff is off the hook. Listen to Elvin Jones crash into a fury in the opening of Pursuance, and Jimmy Garrison's bass solo in the middle of the same movement. That bass solo in particular will rip the hair off your head. Garrison plays the lumbering instrument like a flamenco guitar: something I've never heard quite matched. And of course Coltrane and Tyner reach for the heights themselves, as always, though it is the achievements of Elvin and Garrison that are important here, as they were seldom if ever given this much solo time in the studio.

As I've said, there's nothing wrong with the studio bonus takes. Shepp and Co. handle the material well, and their contributions are an interesting view on a long-beloved masterwork.

In short, if you are even remotely familiar with A Love Supreme and haven't clawed for a copy of this deluxe edition yet, your life is a shame.
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