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The Complete… A Love Supreme

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John Coltrane and his classic quartet (Elvin Jones, Jimmy Garrison and McCoy Tyner) went into the legendary Van Gelder Studio in New Jersey on 9 December 1964 and recorded A Love Supreme–the four-part suite that has influenced musicians and reached generations of fans far beyond the jazz world.

What’s less known is the fact that Coltrane, his classic quartet and two additional musicians–the legendary saxophonist Archie Shepp and second bassist, Dr. Art Davis–returned to the studio the next day to cut the opening part of the suite again. Until last year, the complete picture of what happened on those two days, including all takes, overdubs, and even studio chatter, was unavailable.

A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters, was released in November 2015 to celebrate this seminal recording. It includes the alternate version, taken from reels from the personal collection of John Coltrane and originally recorded in incredible sonic detail by Rudy Van Gelder, along with revised notes and detailed information on these amazing lost sessions.

With the availability of long-lost session reels, A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters brought together all existing recordings and written outlines for the first time to paint the most comprehensive and accurate picture of the A Love Supreme story. It reveals how Coltrane’s masterpiece came together, from its initial conception as a nine-piece performance–it turns out the original plan was for a nine-piece band, including three Latin percussionists–to how it changed and developed in the studio. While the 2002 edition of A Love Supreme did include some of the music recorded at the second session, The Complete Masters features all six takes of “Acknowledgement,” the opening section of the suite, in their entirety, providing a deeper understanding and appreciation of how Coltrane allowed music to mature in the studio. The box set also presents takes one and two of the track “Acknowledgement” from the sextet sessions in stereo for the first time.

A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters is available in two formats: a 2-CD set, including the original best-selling album, along with unreleased mono “reference” versions of two tracks, owned by Coltrane himself, and seven unreleased performances from the two sessions. A 32-page booklet features an extensive essay by Ashley Kahn, noted producer, instructor and author of A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album, rare photographs from the sessions and all of Coltrane’s surviving musical sketches and written elements for the groundbreaking, four-part suite, including the words that would become the poem, “A Love Supreme.”

A 3-CD “Super Deluxe Edition” includes what is currently the only documented live recording of the album, a spirited, impromptu performance from the Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes in July 1965, which had been previously available on a 2002 edition of the album. This 3-CD set is presented in a larger format that includes additional information about the live material and a personal introduction by Carlos Santana.

A Love Supreme was Coltrane’s most pre-conceived, meticulously planned musical recording: “This is the first time I have everything ready,” he famously told his wife Alice after composing the suite in their Long Island home. It was also his most successful, a high-water mark in Coltrane’s career and popularity in 1965-generating two GRAMMY® Award-nominations, and earning him top position in various polls that year. That A Love Supreme remains a permanent fixture in lists of Greatest and Most Important musical recordings of the modern era–Rolling Stone magazine places it at No. 47 in its “500 Greatest Albums Of All Time”–speaks to the enduring significance of Coltrane’s music and his message of spirituality.

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Disc 1
The Original Stereo Album, Impulse! AS-77
Part I – Acknowledgement
Part II – Resolution
Part III – Pursuance
Part IV – Psalm

Trane’s Original Mono Reference Masters
Park III – Pursuance MONO REF
Part IV – Psalm MONO REF

Disc 2
Quartet Session: December 9, 1964
Part I – Acknowledgement VOCAL OVERDUB 2
Part I – Acknowledgement VOCAL OVERDUB 3
Part II – Resolution Alternative Take 4 44-192
Park II – Resolution Alternative Take 6 44-192
Park IV – Psalm UNDUBBED VERSION

Sextet Session: December 10, 1964
Part I – Acknowledgement TAKE 1 ALTERNATE
Part I – Acknowledgement TAKE 2 ALTERNATE
Part I – Acknowledgement TAKE 3 ALTERNATE
Part I – Acknowledgement TAKE 4 ALTERNATE
Part I – Acknowledgement TAKE 5 ALTERNATE
Part I – Acknowledgement TAKE 6 ALTERNATE

Disc 3
Live At Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes, July 26, 1965
Introduction
Part I – Acknowledgement (Live)
Part 2 – Resolution (Live)
Part 3 – Pursuance (Live)
Part 4 – Psalm (Live)

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17 Comments

17 Comments

  1. Matt

    September 21, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    No vinyl release??? Shame on you.

  2. Dtron5000

    September 21, 2015 at 4:09 pm

    C’mon! NO VINYL? WHO BUYS CD’S STILL? I would shell out for this on vinyl but I’ll likely only have it available through Rdio. 🙁

  3. fritz

    September 21, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    …vinyl release, please, and also 96/24 digital version (bundled with LP and CD), we are in 2015, aren’t we? 🙂

    • alwool

      September 22, 2015 at 6:27 am

      hi-res edition, please

  4. BlackTrombone

    September 23, 2015 at 3:54 am

    A true classic! Vinyl and a full size booklet would be nice too.

  5. uDiscover

    September 23, 2015 at 7:48 am

    We’re looking into the vinyl…we agree with you all…

    • Thomas Bollinger

      December 9, 2015 at 8:05 pm

      Obviously not, else you wouldn’t have released the CDs first. BTW I started to buy new Reel-to-Reel releases, I might not be the only one…

  6. Carly

    September 28, 2015 at 5:12 am

    SA-CD or Blu-ray-A

    • Antonio Facondi

      December 28, 2016 at 9:06 pm

      I’ve got all format of this album. The low-fi sound of VINYL with inherent noize and poor dinamic range, the CD PCM 16b/44.1KHz/96dB is ok,the last Edition in BlueRay 24b/96KHz like CD but more resolution good bass and widely ,really good. And my favourite the SACD Edition the most best quality ever.

  7. John

    October 7, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    When is this 2cd set available to the public? and where can I purchase it? Thx JOHN L.

  8. Tim

    October 12, 2015 at 5:21 pm

    Yes. Definitely need to do 180gm vinyl. The Kind of Blue box from i2009 did that. It found amazing

  9. Don

    October 12, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    No vinyl because the record company still has gimmicks and marketing ploys to sucker you and sell you what THEY want you to buy. Cost them probably $5 to make this box set if that. They make more $$$ this format. Not to mention the craftsmanship involved in pressing vinyl add the fact that no more or so few pressing plants left in America because they told you CDs were better back in the 80’s to get you on the $$$ bandwagon and you couldn’t wait for trash day to throw out all your records now look at you lol. So now we have no pressing plants + the demand for vinyl these days are overwhelming. Thomas Edison is rolling in his grave. Only in America….

  10. Greg

    October 13, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Only available in a dead format? Come ON. It’s ridiculous that this is not getting a premium vinyl release at the same time. I already HAVE the album on vinyl and I would buy this version if it was available on wax. You guys are doing yourself a disservice, and Coltrane fans who also value audio fidelity are getting the stick. Boo!

  11. Guilherme Garcia

    December 9, 2015 at 8:03 pm

    Only available on cd? I was really hoping to see a vinyl edition.
    It would obviously sell out, since most of the jazz fans would prefer the analog version… but of course, making high quality pressings is more expensive, and they want to make as much money as possible. Oh well, that’s a shame

  12. John Phillips

    September 25, 2016 at 7:03 pm

    I am confused. In this article it says this item will be available on
    November 6. Then how is it available now at Amazon? Can I please get an explanation about this? Thank you.

  13. brian

    October 9, 2016 at 10:33 pm

    I no longer have a turntable,but I remember what it was like and I have to agree with many here,You must release this in vinyl,a recording of this caliber demands it,for the time being I will try to afford the cd,either wayt I’m glad you put it together Thank you-Love wins! Coltrane would agree

  14. Antonio Facondi

    December 27, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I’ve got all format of this album. The low-fi sound of VINYL with inherent noize and poor dinamic range, the CD PCM 16b/44.1KHz/96dB is ok,the last Edition in BlueRay 24b/96KHz like CD but more resolution good bass and widely ,really good. And my favourite the SACD Edition the most best quality ever.

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