Saturday, February 28, 2015

A Love Supreme at 50: Elation Elegance Exaltation

Fifty years on and no one has topped the passion and influence of the 1964 recorded (1965 released) A Love Supreme. The album, divided into four parts: Acknowledgement, Resolution, Pursuance, and Psalm. But what makes it so classic, so cutting edge, and like nothing we will ever hear again? First, let's look at the four part of A Love Supreme.

Acknowledgement: It begins with a resounding gong and cymbal as the percussion builds into the bass' prayer that begins the mantra before you hear it.  You feel it immediately in this opening part, you acknowledge the layers, the complexity, and begin to let go. Suddenly, the only spoken words of the entire album are chanted, the same repetitive notes you've been hearing in bass and saxophone: A Love Supreme.

Resolution: You're drawn into it's immediately subtlety but suddenly shocked by a crash of sounds. The piano and saxophone trade off parts in this one with the percussion feeling a bit chaotic. Until finally again it slows, the cymbals are silenced, and then...

Pursuance: Drums take center stage to kick off this part. You feel inspired to move forward. The pace is set early on and it's fast and furious. Four or so minutes in the saxophone comes into a screaming solo just as fast paced as the rest of the instruments. There is passion in this section. And then it slows, the bass is given a solo as if it is a musical sermon.

Psalm: There is serious drama at the very start of this. The saxophone sounds as if it's praying as the instruments wake up again.

But there is a part that most people do not know about. That is the poem written to accompany the final part, Psalm. The saxophone solo that I referred to as praying is actually "speaking" this poem. Next time you listen to the final part, Psalm, read this along with it and the magic that is A Love Supreme will be understood.
I will do all I can to be worthy of Thee O Lord. It all has to do with it. Thank you God. Peace. There is none other. God is, It is so beautiful. Thank you God. God is all. Help us to resolve our fears and weaknesses. Thank you God. In You all things are possible. We know. God made us so. Keep your eye on God. God is. He always was. He always will be. No matter what…it is God. He is gracious and merciful. It is most important that I know Thee. Words, sounds, speech, men, memory, thoughts, fears and emotions – time – all related…all made from one…all made in one. Blessed be His name. Thought waves – heat waves – all vibrations – all paths lead to God. Thank you God. His way…it is so lovely…it is gracious. It is merciful – thank you God. His way…it is so lovely…it is gracious. It is merciful – thank you God. One thought can produce millions of vibrations and they all go back to God…everything does. Thank you God. Have no fear…believe…thank you God.
The universe has many wonders. God is all. His way…it is so wonderful. Thoughts – deeds – vibrations, etc. They all go back to God and He cleanses all. He is gracious and merciful…thank you God. Glory to God…God is so alive. God is. God loves. May I be acceptable in Thy sight. We are all one in His grace. The fact that we do exist is acknowledgement of Thee of Lord. Thank you God. God will wash away all our tears…He always has…He always will. Seek Him everyday. In all ways seek God everyday. Let us sing all songs to God To whom all praise is due…praise God. No road is an easy one, but they all go back to God. With all we share God. It is all with God. It is all with Thee. Obey the Lord. Blessed is He. We are from one thing…the will of God…thank you God.
I have seen God – I have seen ungodly – none can be greater – none can compare to God. Thank you God. He will remake us…He always has and He always will. It is true – blessed be His name – thank you God. God breathes through us so completely…so gently we hardly feel it…yet, it is our everything. Thank you God. ELATION – ELEGANCE – EXALTATION – All from God. Thank you God. Amen.
John Coltrane – December, 1964

This is indeed a prayer of thanks and acknowledgement of what gift he has been given. How blessed he is.  The true love supreme being God.


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