John Coltrane: Acknowledgement
John Coltrane (tenor sax, vocal)
A Love Supreme (Impulse 314 589 945-2)
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