A Love Supreme: Take 3

In December of 1964, the John Coltrane QuartetJohn Coltrane, tenor saxophone; McCoy Tyner, piano; Jimmy Garrison, bass; and Elvin Jones, drums — recorded A Love Supreme, regarded universally as one of the most important jazz recordings of all time. A Love Supreme preceded much more free spiritual recordings by Coltrane such as Ascension, Meditations, Om, and Expressions.


Discographers at the time were aware that there was a live recording — somewhere — of the music of A Love Supreme, but an official issue of that show, from the Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes in Juan-les-Pins, France, on July 26, 1965, would not surface until 2002, when it was released along with the original recording and several alternate takes as A Love Supreme (Deluxe Edition).

Meanwhile, Coltrane’s quartet played a residence at The Penthouse in Seattle. The quartet was expanded to include Pharoah Sanders, tenor saxophone. Donald Roland Garrett, bass; and Carlos Ward, alto saxophone were also brought in for part of this residency. Coltrane played both tenor and soprano saxophones during the week. The album Live in Seattle, a double vinyl release from September 30, 1965, was later issued on CD and subsequently released, briefly, as a 2-CD set of titanic proportions. 

The recording of A Love Supreme Live in Seattle comes from tapes preserved by Joe Brazil, who was the leader of the house band at The Penthouse at the time of this recording on October 2, 1965. This was an incredibly fertile period for Coltrane as he drove headfirst into the free jazz movement. Om was recorded in a Seattle studio on October 1.

More: Live at the Half Note: One Down, One Up, March & May; Transition, May & June; Living Space, June; New Thing at Newport, July 2; Live in France, July 27 & 28; Sun Ship, August 26; Ascension, June 28; Kulu Sé Mama, June & October; First Meditations (for Quartet), September 2; and Meditations, November 23. 

That constitutes 14 albums (several multiple disk) from March to November of 1965.

A Love Supreme Live in Seattle was released Friday, October 22, on Impulse Records. This is NOT your father’s Love Supreme.


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