While recognized as a great artist in his time, much of John Coltrane’s later work was so far ahead that it took the world years, if not decades, to catch up with it.
Today, in a beautiful postscript to a brilliant and all-too-short life and career, Coltrane’s masterpiece, 1965’s “A Love Supreme,” has been certified platinum by the RIAA for sales of 1 million albums in the U.S. The achievement garners Coltrane, who died of cancer in 1967, his first-ever platinum record and is the first jazz album of the 1960s to receive platinum status.
Following weeks of writing and arranging, the album was recorded in one session on December 9, 1964 at the legendary Van Gelder Studios in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, with Coltrane’s classic quartet – pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Jimmy Garrison, and drummer Elvin Jones – and was released on Impulse! Records, the following month.
Composed and created by Coltrane as a “humble offering to the Divine,” the album sold well and received a Grammy nomination, but it’s also one of those artistic works that takes years to reveal itself. Fifty-six years after its release, it remains one of the greatest albums ever recorded.
Last week, John and Alice Coltrane’s son and daughter, Ravi and Michelle Coltrane, were presented with a platinum plaque in honor of their father’s achievement by the head of Verve and Impulse! Records, Jamie Krents, and the label’s head of jazz development, Ken Druker. (Pictured above, L-R: Krents, Frisch, Ravi Coltrane, Michelle Coltrane, Druker.)
The presentation took place at the John & Alice Coltrane Home in Dix Hills, Long Island, N.Y., where John composed the four-part suite.
In celebration of the accomplishment, Impulse! Records/UMe today has released a digital-only collection titled “A Love Supreme: The Platinum Collection,” which brings together all commercially released versions of the most iconic suite of music in jazz. The collection begins with the original album, continues with a live 1965 recording from Antibes, France, followed by the newly released “A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle,” also recorded in 1965. The package ends with outtakes and alternative takes from the previously released A Love Supreme: The Complete Masters from 2015. This digital release serves as an aural history of the most lauded, yet rarely-performed, extended composition in jazz history. The original album is now available in Dolby Atmos immersive audio on Amazon Music, Apple Music and Tidal.Stream/download here: https://JohnColtrane.lnk.to/ALSCompletePR
Ravi said, “We are thrilled and humbled to witness this incredible milestone in our father’s recorded legacy. I believe both John and Alice would be very proud of this achievement. We take great pride knowing new generations continue to discover this album and that the music continues to speak to their souls.”
Krents said, “The last few years have seen a flurry of activity from the partnership of Impulse Records, UMe and the Coltrane estate. It’s been the highest honor for our team to be the custodians of this music, beginning with the ‘A Love Supreme: Complete Masters’ release in 2015 to finding and sharing unreleased gems with the found albums ‘Both Directions At Onc’e and ‘Blue World,’ and most recently discovering and releasing ‘A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle.’ It’s truly incredible to see the catalog and legacy of Mr. Coltrane not only thriving and but literally growing with the addition of these recordings. It’s immensely gratifying for all of us at Impulse! Records to see the original ‘A Love Supreme’ record achieve such an impressive sales milestone, as new generations of fans discover the most iconic musical suite in the history of jazz.”
UMe President & CEO, Bruce Resnikoff, said, “John Coltrane is one of the most important artists of the 20th century and A Love Supreme, is his masterwork. We are thrilled to celebrate this milestone and that the album continues to find new listeners more than five decades after its release.”
“A Love Supreme” will also be released by Supersense as one of the first titles, in their newly launched Mastercut Edition series. The limited edition, high-end release features each LP cut from the original analog source master, and not a stamper, one by one, without any digital interference, compression or compromise, in real time, with the highest possible expertise and passion. Limited to 999 units globally, this special release will feature custom packaging that has been printed and packaged by hand, includes a photo of the specific vinyl being cut, and comes with white gloves to properly handle the vinyl, which is held in place via a screw to prevent any damage or movement.
Watch “A Love Supreme: Deep Dive,” which explores the album’s lasting musical and historical importance: https://Impulse.lnk.to/ALSDeepDivePR
A LOVE SUPREME: THE PLATINUM COLLECTION TRACKLISTING
Disc 1 – The Original Stereo Album, Impulse! AS-77
- “Acknowledgement” – 7:42
- “Resolution” – 7:20
- “Pursuance” – 10:41
- “Psalm” – 7:05
Disc 2 – Live at Festival Mondial du Jazz Antibes, July 26, 1965
- Introduction by André Francis and John Coltrane – 1:13
- “Acknowledgement (Live)” – 6:12
- “Resolution (Live)” – 11:37
- “Pursuance (Live)” – 21:30
- “Psalm (Live)” – 8:49
Disc 3 – Live in Seattle
- A Love Supreme Pt. I – Acknowledgement
- Interlude 1
- A Love Supreme Pt. II – Resolution
- Interlude 2
- A Love Supreme Pt. III – Pursuance
- Interlude 3
- Interlude 4
- A Love Supreme Pt. IV – Psalm
Disc 4 – The ‘Extras’ – Original Mono Reference Masters
- “Pursuance” – 10:42
- “Psalm” – 7:02
Quartet Session, December 9, 1964
- “Acknowledgement” (vocal overdub 2) – 2:00
- “Acknowledgement” (vocal overdub 3) – 2:05
- “Resolution” (take 4/ alternate) – 7:25
- “Resolution” (take 6/ breakdown) – 2:13
- “Psalm” (undubbed version) – 6:59
Sextet Session, December 10, 1964
- “Acknowledgement” (Take 1 / alternate) – 9:24
- “Acknowledgement” (Take 2 / alternate) – 9:47
- “Acknowledgement” (Take 3 / breakdown with studio dialogue) – 1:26
- “Acknowledgement” (Take 4 / alternate) – 9:04
- “Acknowledgement” (Take 5 / false start) – 0:34
- “Acknowledgement” (Take 6 / alternate) – 12:33