As a special treat for our Jazz fans our host in NYC Barbie Bertisch has shared with us her notes and playlist for her presentation on John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ including the full playlist streaming on Spotify. Check them our below:
One of the great collaborators in Coltrane’s career is Thelonious Monk, who he worked with from July – December 1957 in New York. Coltrane played at Five Spot Cafe in Monk’s Quartet. Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane at Carnegie Hall is a widely acclaimed resulting album. Brilliant Corners, Monk’s magnum opus , was released that year.
Thelonious Monk – Brilliant Corners
(’57) – Brilliant Corners
Miles Davis plays a huge role in Coltrane’s life. They first worked together in 1955-1957, alongside Monk. Due to a disruptive heroin habit, Davis and Coltrane took a break until January 1958. At that time, Coltrane became part of a sextet with Cannonball Adderley, Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, Philly Joe Jones, and Jimmy Cobb.
Miles Davis – Milestones (‘58) – Milestones
Miles Davis – Kind of Blue (‘59) – So What
Bill Evans Trio – Everybody digs Bill Evans (‘59) – Peace Piece
Coltrane was signed with Atlantic Records from ‘59-’61. This was when, amongst other great works, Giant Steps was released. The opening for Giant Steps is said to have one of the most difficult chord progressions of any widely played jazz composition.
Play: John Coltrane – Giant Steps (‘59) – Giant Steps
Comparative with Giant Steps or Kind of Blue, Charles Mingus’s Mingus Ah Um was his most known work.
Charles Mingus – Mingus Ah Um (‘59) – Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
From 1961-1965, Coltrane signed with Impulse Records and began exploring Indian ragas as well as the ‘Anti Jazz’ movement. Influences like Sun Ra, Ravi Shankar, are cited. Other influences include Ravel and Debussy.
Sun Ra and the Arkestra – Supersonic Jazz (‘57) – India
Ravi Shankar – Raga Rageshri: Part II (Jor) (‘62)
Debussy – La Mer: Jeux de Vagues
During 1965 through 1967, Coltrane worked and influenced with avante-garde jazz artists Pharaoh Sanders, Freddie Hubbard, Marion Brown, John Tchicai. This collaboration resulted in Ascension and Live at the Village Vanguard.
From Live at the Village Vanguard, the opening composition Naima is said to have been a career favorite. Naime was John’s first wife, the piece written in 1955, but they were divorced in 1966.
John Coltrane – Live at the Village Vanguard (‘66) – Naima
Finally, we closed our lead-up with Alice McLeod, also known as Alice Coltrane–John’s second wife. Influenced by Indian philosophy, Ahmadiyya Islam and spirituality.
Alice Coltrane – Journey in Satchidananda (‘71) – Journey in Satchidananda