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.
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.
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.