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4.1 out of 5 stars15
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 6 September 2003
To those of you who perhaps bought this album on Vinyl in the 60s as I did, and have been so disappointed with all the CD re-issues to date, then finally your patience has been rewarded.
All previous CD reissues have had a nasty tinny quality to Elvin Jones's cymbal sound, and Coltrane's tenor sounded hard and ugly. Even the Impulse 24 bit remaster was horrible.
This re-issue is gorgeous -- even if you own this recording, unless it is on anything other than pristine vinyl :-), it is well worth a re-purchase.
The bonus is that the live French recording (the only time Love Supreme was played as a suite live) is both sufficiently different and exciting to sometimes make the choice of which version to listen to a problem.
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It's now almost 50 years since `A Love Supreme' was recorded in Englewood cliffs, NJ. The 2002 `deluxe' release of John Coltrane's most respected musical creation is a beautiful thing, indisputably the best-ever edition of this classic work.

This release is sourced from an original copy-master discovered in EMI's vaults in London, dated March 1965. The equalization and compression issues which had always plagued the 1971 second-generation transfer (from which all previous CDs had been sourced) are not present on this 1965 copy-master, so this recording is as pure and original as we're ever likely to hear.

A second disk features a live performance of the suite at the Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes in July 1965, together with two alternate takes (hitherto unreleased) each of `Resolution' and `Acknowledgment' from the original Van Gelder studio recordings in December 1964.

The 2-CD package is very tastefully presented in a 4-fold jewel case together with a 32-page booklet featuring a long essay from 2002 on the music by Ashley Kahn and a shorter one by Ravi Coltrane, together with several of Trane's inspired spiritual musings on God presented as poetry.

Overall, this is an exemplary package. The music itself may not resonate with you on first listening, but play it again and give it time; you'll soon come to love it, and appreciate why it has been so highly regarded for these past 50 years. Jazz has travelled a long way since 1964, but rarely has any other work been so inspired as ALS.
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on 30 November 2004
It's a testament to John Coltrane's artistic vision that a piece of uncomprimising music such as a 'A Love Supreme' can be heard for the universalism it stands for. Recorded in a studio in New Jersey in late 1964, Coltrane had spent a week alone in a room in his house away from his wife and children. During that time of contemplation and isolation, he put pen to paper to bare his soul to God and the essence of 'A Love Supreme' was born. I don't think it was a coincedence that at the time this album was recorded in the mid-60's, a new philosophy of spirituality and peace & love began to prevade popular music in general. The Church of St. John Coltrane still resides in that bastion of hippiedom San Francisco.
The music on the album itself is powerful not just for Coltrane's playing itself but also for the fanatical interplay of the quartet. 'Acknowledgement' opens with Garrison's passionate bass line, leading into Coltrane's dynamic and ingenious playing, the quartet's spirited performance like a fervant, untamed emotion that has gripped them all. 'Resolution' blazes from the record with Tyler burnishing the track with some brilliant playing of his own. Jones's frantic drumming comes to the fore on the opening of 'Pursuance', a track where the meaning of 'Chasin' The Trane' becomes self-evident as Garrison, Tyler and Jones follow in hot pursuit of their leader's furious joy. Tyler's playing is again compelling as the quartet trade notes with such alarming velocity before Garrison's bass tip-toes and leads us like the pied-piper to the concluding 'Psalm'.
It's refreshing in this day and age to hear an artist whose sincerity and integrity shines through his work.
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on 2 December 2002
Here is the definitive edition of one of the landmark albums of the twentieth century. The new source tape and some deft production really do make a significant difference to our appreciation of Coltane’s achievement. The outtakes and a classic live Antibes performance reclaimed from what was effectively a bootleg also provide us with fresh perspectives on ‘A Love Supreme’, as it moves towards forty years in our presence.
An unfathomable amount of development has taken place in the jazz world since this extraordinary work was recorded, of course. But it still retains the capacity to surprise, entice and delight even the most over-educated ears; surely a true testimony to its greatness. Winnowing sax, uncomplicated melodic sophistication, subtle modal development, percussive ingenuity (not just from the drummer) and a spirit of blazing (but well-tempered) spiritual passion make these inter-twining tracks what they are: wholly entrancing.
As if all this wasn’t enough, there is also a new book which helps to fill in the background to the album, the era that witnessed its birth and the creative force behind it. ‘A Love Supreme: The Creation of John Coltrane’s Classic Album’ by Ashley Kahn (Granta Books 2002 (ISBN: 186207545X), has a Foreword by percussion legend Elvin Jones. It is full of information and insight, of course. But nothing can surpass the sonic delights so lovingly re-mastered on this CD. The story is, above all else, in those notes and in the personality and atmosphere that reveals them to be something inexplicably transcendent.
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on 13 March 2003
John Coltrane was a giant on the tenor saxophone and this was one of his finest hours. The quartet is legendary. They work together like a perfect family. Coltrane's intense searching lifestyle eventually led him to explore the spiritual regions in the early 1960's and this 'spirit' informs the music. This is a classic album but we are also treated to a wonderful 'live' set too. Coltrane's playing on this is really amazing giving himself more time to stretch out his solo explorations/improvisations. It is largely structured according to the original but by no means simply a 'live' performance of the recorded work. It exists in its own right and the recording quality of this CD is better than the previous 'pirate' issue I owned. We're also treated to another two out-takes and finally to two sessions featuring Archie Shepp and another bassist. These last two are interesting but don't grab me as much as the rest of the CD. This is a classic album by a true giant playing jazz that goes beyond what mostly passes for jazz today and we get all the bonus tracks. It was such an important event that it's worth getting all the extra stuff and it's not too expensive either. Coltrane extended the range of the saxophone via harmonics etc whilst his style was certainly intense but, more than this, it was the language of the spirit - his spirit. The message from deep within his being needed to get out and he found the new forms of language necessary for this. In this sense his playing is authentic and truly original. He always has a tremendous sense of presence and in this piece, dedicated to The Source of All Love, every note is inspired by his heart-felt devotion - it's like a musical meditation. He played his saxophone so much every day of his life that his playing was a fine-tuned instrument to his inner life.
If you just wanted one Coltrane CD, or wanted to get to know him, then start with this CD and if you like it then check out all that happened later i.e. OM, Meditations, Transition etc.
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on 17 September 2009
...of this "acknowledged" classic. Not only do you get the original album, but all the outtakes including the legendary "sextet versions" with Archie Shepp (inhibited but adding an extra layer of complexity nonetheless).
Importantly, you also get the legendary live version from Antibes festival in the best possible sound quality (and with the bass solo intact!). As someone who grew up with the live version I've always found the studio version to be bland in comparison to the live one - and it's here for comparison to both the original release and the alternate studio versions, all of which are worth having.
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on 9 July 2009
Before I begin, let me state that this review applies to "A Love Supreme [Deluxe Edition] [Box set] [Extra tracks] [Original recording remastered]". I won't review the music itself as others have done do ably. I simply want to say beware of this edition, for it has been 'remastered' by Rudy Van Gelder, who, it is a reasonable guess, is suffering from hearing problems in the treble range in his old age. It simply sounds like he has turned the treble up, resulting in annoyingly hissing and dominant cymbals, and leaving Coltrane's reeds sounds rather ... well, reedy. So please avoid this edition and buy the one labelled 'originals' (a version of which is also available including the live performance, so nothing is lost).
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on 7 March 2004
I came to this album after listening to jazz for over twenty years during a period when I sought to add some classic albums to my collection that I felt were missing. Whilst I had been introduced to Coltrane as a teenager via an album of his famous quartet and through Miles Davis' "Kind of Blue", most of my collection consisted of contemporary recordings. This added to my perception that this group sounded old-fashioned , particularly as a consequence of McCoy Tyner's continued use of added forths in his harmonic variations. There seemed to be little variation in the pianist's playing and I could not buy into the spiritual aspect of Coltrane's music. Added to this, modern players such as Mike Brecker, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano,Steve Coleman and, until the 1990's atleast, Jan Garbarek had moved the music on.Furthermore, Wayne Shorter, when at the top of his game, was found to be a harmonically and linearly more adventurous player.
Eventually, I acquired this disc and was initially blown away by the saxophonist's playing. Two of his greatest solo's can be found on "Resolution" and "Persuance", yet the album ends on a total anti-climax, the closing movement of the suite being (whisper this only) little more than an extended cadenza. What is particularly interesting is that in the same year, Coltrane also recorded a lesser known and more orthodox disc called "Crescent" and I would contest that this represents the apogee of his work. Whilst "A love supreme" ends in an annoying fashion, "Cresent" leaves this listener wanting more. In my opnion, it should be "Crescent" that takes the kudos. I would also like to point out that some of the less-valued discs such as the meeting with Duke Ellington similarly do not receive the credit that they are due. Certainly, it is "A love supreme" that makes the most infrequent appearances on my CD player.
Never-the-less, the first three movements on this album show Coltrane in magnificant form and this record rightfully deserves to be in any collection. However, the listener should be encouraged to search out other albums by this group as well as lesser known earlier discs such as Sonny Clark's "Sonny's Crib" where stellar Coltrane can also be found.
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on 25 November 2002
Remastered digitally the classic session is now available with an additional disc with those 2 missing tracks that Coltrane mentioned on the original vinyl edition but never released. Now we can see why they werent released. However don't let this put you off ass disc 2 also has a full live concert of the suite. Fantastic stuff a must for every sereious Jazz collector Amen!
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on 16 March 2015
takes me to another place where I forget everything else
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