Jazz Friday: John Coltrane, A Love Supreme

John Coltrane is one of the most well-regarded saxophonists ever to pick up the instrument. He was a vital band member with Miles Davis and a force of his own as a solo artist. I used his Ballads album to serenade my children when they were babies and I still find myself playing it when I need a bit of serenity.

John was also quite spiritual. He recorded several albums that were spiritually inspired. In one of his seminal works, A Love Supreme, he wrote a Psalm and then, in the studio, put the words on his music stand and played them I first heard about this when I was 15 and playing the sax several hours a day. I couldn’t fathom someone playing words instead of music. However, I did read John’s Psalm and listen to the music and I did hear it.

Just a few weeks ago, Dan Colman made a video at OpenCulture, that shows you John’s original words overlaid with the music. I found it mesmerizing to watch as I could put myself in the head of this musical genius and look at the words float by as the notes come out.

My thanks to David in Cincinnati for pointing me at the OpenCulture post.