John Coltrane: Acknowledgement




John Coltrane (tenor sax, vocal)


A Love Supreme (Impulse 314 589 945-2)

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John Coltrane (tenor sax, vocal), McCoy Tyner (piano), Jimmy Garrison (bass), Elvin Jones (drums).

Recorded: New York, December 1964


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

Those first bass notes, those first pleas from the saxophone – so begins Coltrane’s love letter to God. He offered up A Love Supreme as a gift to his Creator, as words of praise and as a confession. His playing is the embodiment of a quest; you can hear him searching for something, seeking guidance, as the chords move up and up, and the horn lines keep reaching higher. On musical merits, A Love Supreme – particularly the first movement, “Acknowledgement,” where Coltrane chants “a love supreme” with his vocal cords when he had said it enough with his horn – stands as a singular achievement in the history of music, an album that belongs in every collection of American music. But Coltrane was also seeking spiritual fulfillment when he recorded A Love Supreme. For the rest of us, it is itself spiritually fulfilling.

Reviewer: Steve Greenlee

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