I’m talk­ing two tracks to­day, named Ac­knowl­edg­ment and Res­o­lu­tion, but there are mil­lions of peo­ple who love them but don’t know their names. They are the “A Side” of A Love Supreme by John Coltrane, record­ed in 1964 and one of the best-selling jazz records of all time. Thing is, most peo­ple just start at the be­gin­ning of the al­bum and stick with it till the end. Or if you’re a tra­di­tion­al­ist like me, the LP. Either way ev­ery­one just thinks of it as A Love Supreme.

A Love Supreme by John Coltrane

It’s a hell of a piece of mu­sic. Since this is “modern” jaz­z, the har­monies aren’t clas­si­cal, but you stop notic­ing af­ter a few sec­ond­s, be­cause John is tak­ing you on a trip and he knows where he’s go­ing and it’s hard to re­sist his pul­l. And then there’s McCoy Tyn­er on pi­ano and Elvin Jones on drum­s; there are a lot of peo­ple who’d say it’s the best work any of them ev­er record­ed.

Ac­knowl­edg­ment is the one that most peo­ple will re­mem­ber be­cause it’s where the band chants “a love supreme” against cos­mic chord­ing from Tyn­er. But I ac­tu­al­ly like Res­o­lu­tion a lit­tle bet­ter, find­ing Coltrane’s lazy de­scend­ing line com­plete­ly en­chant­ing.

Ear­li­er I men­tioned that Coltrane knew where he was go­ing and on this record he re­al­ly Knows Where He’s Go­ing be­cause he’d just got re­li­gion, there’s a sil­ly po­em about God in the lin­er notes. Dun­no, doesn’t make me feel re­li­gious when I hear it, just proud to be a mem­ber of the same species as those guys in the stu­dio in 1964.

This is part of the Song of the Day se­ries (back­ground).

Links · Spo­ti­fy playlist. This mu­sic on iTunes (al­bum on­ly), Ama­zon (al­bum on­ly), and Ac­knowl­edg­ment and Res­o­lu­tion on Spo­ti­fy. I can’t find live video of this mu­sic, but here’s the same quar­tet play­ing My Fa­vorite Things. Um, wow.

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March 24, 2018
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