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Right from the very first hearing, absolutely every single jazzcritic shared the same opinion – whether trained musicians or not, true or would-be jazz expert: ‘A Love Supreme’ is John Coltrane’s most important recording. And the rave reviews which appeared in the magazines Downbeat, Jazz Hot, Jazz Podium and Swingjournal reflected this: critics all over the world, in America, Europe and Japan recognized that Coltrane’s deep religious belief had influenced both his approach to life and his music-making. It not only enabled him to express himself with great intensity but also lent him the necessary inner peace to conceive a work of almost 40 minutes in length and to lead his quartet along the same path as himself.
The first section, entitled ‘Acknowledgement’, has a forceful bass line which runs throughout the whole work. The powerful sound increases in intensity, whereby the bass motif undergoes constant modulation, with John Coltrane’s meditative singing creating immense tension. In ‘Resolution’ Coltrane’s powerful, quasi hymnlike expression comes to the fore, with McCoy Tyner achieving equal intensity in his solo.
‘Pursuance’, with its density, quick-as-lightning runs and block chords, gives us a taste of John Coltrane’s later ‘free’ phase.