A copiously researched study of saxophone legend John Coltrane's signature album. Among the images published here for the first time are Coltrane's hand-written poem "A Love Supreme" that was printed in the original album and in-studio photographs of Coltrane and his sidemen recording "A Love Supreme" in 1964. Written with the full co-operation of the Coltrane family and featuring the voices of musicians, producers and writers of the 1960s, Kahn has also unearthed rare, unpublished interviews with Coltrane and bassist Jimmy Garrison. The book also features commentary from contemporary music stars including Carlos Santana, Bono, Phil Lesh, Patti Smith, Ravi Shankar and Steve Reich.
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(235mm x 189mm x mm)
Publisher: Granta Books
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
The sound of the saxophone is the most haunting and seductive of any musical instrument - Dick Parry's solo in Pink Floyd's 'Shine on you Crazy Diamond' still takes the breath away after almost 30 years. A decade earlier John Coltrane, perhaps the most exalted saxophonist of all time, produced an album regarded by many as the apotheosis of free-form jazz. 'A Love Supreme' reflects Coltrane's deep personal involvement in Eastern religion, and its four syllables are repeated musically like a mantra throughout the album in a four-note motif beneath a rapid, undulating conversation taking place between piano, bass and percussion. Ashley Kahn, author of Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece, has now produced an illuminating account of the creation of Coltrane's groundbreaking album. From records of interviews with Coltrane, who died in 1967 at the age of 40, as well as with family members and contemporary musicians, Kahn has thoroughly researched the various influences that shaped the saxophonist's vision. Coltrane drew inspiration from musical sources throughout the world, Indian and African rhythms, American jazz and bebop. Social influences were also crucial - being a black child in his home state of North Carolina in the 1930s was no joke. Punctuating Kahn's concise narrative, the interviews further serve to highlight the sheer uncertainties and anxieties which confront an innovative artist like Coltrane: 'I didn't know where I was going to go next.... Well, that must be the answer.' Richly annotated, with a bibliography, discography and index, and illustrated with dozens of black-and-white photographs, this book is a collector's item for those interested not only in jazz but in people with a unique vision. (Kirkus UK)
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