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The 2002 `Deluxe' release of ALS; the best by far and the one to buy
on 16 March 2014
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.