John Coltrane

Dedicated to You

Adding words to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme? Not a good idea. Why mess with it? You may as well add a tape loop of explosions and screaming to Guernica.

To use the parlance of a friend, Kurt Elling’s got huevos. He stuck the landing with Coltrane on his 2003 Man in the Air CD. He’s also gone in the other direction and added music to words - Kenneth Rexroth’s Married Blues, for example, and even Whitman’s Song of Myself. For anyone else, reinterpreting the gold standard of jazz ballad records would seem foolish. But I think Kurt is up to it.

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History, Mystery

In January 2005, Larry Applebaum was digging through some old Voice of America tapes at the Library of Congress. He found one labeled “sp. Event 11/29/57 carnegie jazz concert (#1).” It turned out to be the only full-length professionally recorded document of the short-lived collaboration between two jazz giants. The discovery allowed critics and historians to flesh out the accepted narrative of how Thelonious Monk influenced John Coltrane.

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