The great jazz saxophone player was born 87 years ago today. To mark the occasion we present this rare document from the Smithsonian’s : Coltrane’s handwritten outline of his groundbreaking jazz composition A Love Supreme.
The album begins with the bang of a gong (), followed by cymbal washes. follows on bass with the four-note motif which structures the entire movement. Coltrane's solo follows. Besides soloing upon variations of the motif, at one point Coltrane repeats the four notes over and over in different transpositions. After many repetitions, the motif becomes the vocal chant "A Love Supreme", sung by Coltrane (accompanying himself via overdubs).
If you find the double-CD Deluxe Edition of the album issued in 2002, buy it. In addition to some of the December 10. takes, you also get a cleaned up version of the only complete presentation of «A Love Supreme» ever to be performed live – from Antibes July 26, 1965. Here you can also hear André Francis’ attempts at calming down an evidently hostile audience to the perfomance.