The first album released in 1965 is the jazz classic “A Love Supreme” by John Coltrane. This is a four-part jazz explosion, rated as the 66th best album of all time on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.
This album felt like a blend of jazz, progressive rock and jam band, a very intense musical piece from beginning to end. There is a four-piece quartet, with Coltrane on sax, McCoy Tyner on piano, Jimmy Garrison on bass, and Elvin Jones on drums. Amazingly, this was recorded in one single session. There are different moments on the album when each of the artists is playing solo. While all were impressive, I was really taken by the drumming of Elvin Jones. It very much reminded me of Keith Moon’s random bursts, off-beat and frantic in pace, while also feeling as if a jazz band was playing side by side while John Bonham is playing his solo in Moby Dick. It really is once again something much different than any jazz album I have listened to, and truly frenetic in its delivery.
I find it very positive to see jazz remaining true to its roots while completing reshaping its form all at the same time. I first heard this album referenced in the song “Angel of Harlem” by U2. It may have taken me a long time to catch up, but I’m sure glad I did. The haunting chant of “Love.. Supreme” at the end of Part I will stay with me for a long time.