On December 9th, 1964, John Coltrane and his classic quartet (Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison and McCoy Tyner) went into the legendary Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey and recorded A Love Supreme–the four-part suite that has influenced musicians and reached generations of fans far beyond the jazz world. Far less known is the fact that Coltrane, his classic quartet and two additional musicians–the legendary saxophonist Archie Shepp and second bassist, Dr. Art Davis–returned to the studio the next day to cut the opening part of the suite again. Until now, the complete picture of what happened on those two days, including all takes, overdubs, and even studio chatter, has been unavailable.
That will change on November 6th when Verve Music Group proudly releases A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the release of this seminal recording. It will include this alternate version, taken from reels from the personal collection of John Coltrane and originally recorded in incredible sonic detail by Rudy Van Gelder, along with revised notes and detailed information on these amazing lost sessions.
A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters will be available in two formats: a 2-CD set, including the original best-selling album, along with unreleased mono “reference” versions of two tracks, owned by Coltrane himself, and seven unreleased performances from the two sessions. A 32-page booklet features an extensive essay by Ashley Kahn, noted producer, instructor and author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album, rare photographs from the sessions and all of Coltrane’s surviving musical sketches and written elements for the groundbreaking, four-part suite, including the words that would become the poem, “A Love Supreme.”
A 3-CD “Super Deluxe Edition” of A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters adds what is currently the only documented live recording of the album, a spirited, impromptu performance from the Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes in July 1965, which had been previously available on a 2002 edition of the album. This 3-CD set is presented in a larger format that includes additional information about the live material and a personal introduction by Carlos Santana.
Ashley Kahn writes in the essay to A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters: “Fifty years after its release, voices that speak of divine light and supreme love have trouble being heard. Lines that divide people run deep. At odds with itself, the world lacks the spirit to ascend and is needful once again of a spiritual recharger like A Love Supreme. The sound and message of John Coltrane remain more relevant than ever.”
4 Replies to “A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters”
To my ears the single greatest recording ever.
It renews my faith every time I hear it!
A love supreme, sublime!
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Jazz gets worse the further it strays from the blues … unless your name is Miles Davis or John Coltrane. When I first heard A Love Supreme, I thought music was always going to be as good. Alas, no …