CELEBRATION TIME: A Love Supreme: 50 Years On

A Love Supreme – 50 Years On… While I’m eagerly awaiting Jazz On 3 broadcast of the entire performance of the Enlightenment Ensemble’s “Re-envisioning of John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ at last summer’s Meltdown, the crew at Folded Wing announce their forthcoming contribution to the celebrations.

l to r: Nat, Courtney, Finn,  Jason in Kilburn

l to r: Nat, Courtney, Finn, Jason in Kilburn

“The first time I felt the power of ‘A Love Supreme’ was when I was 15. The effect was like being hit by a sledgehammer. It has that rare quality in music, the ability to talk to generations and with each generation comes a more in-depth view point of looking at one of this planet’s greatest musical statements.” Professor Courtney Pine C.B.E

On Tuesday 10th February at 11.30am on BBC Radio 4, outer-nationally renowned saxophonist Courtney Pine celebrates 50 years of John Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ and explores what makes ‘A Love Supreme’ such a unique and seminal record.

John Coltrane intended ‘A Love Supreme’ to be a devotional statement album: a declaration of his religious beliefs and personal spiritual quest. However the album also had a wider cultural significance. Released in February 1965 – just days after black rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated, and weeks before Martin Luther King led the ‘March on Alabama’ – for many, the sound and feel of ‘A Love Supreme’ perfectly captured the sadness, confusion and anger of America’s growing black consciousness movement.

Courtney, along with fellow saxophonists Nat Birchall, Finn Peters and Jason Yarde visit the Gaumont State Theatre in Kilburn, North London, where John Coltrane performed in 1961 alongside fellow saxophonist Eric Dolphy. It was a performance that divided the audience and earned him a critical slating in the music press. Trane never returned to the UK.

QArchie Sepp, Trane & Bob Thiele at the recording of 'A Love Supreme'.

Archie Shepp, Trane & Bob Thiele at the recording of ‘A Love Supreme’.

The programme also features Archie Shepp, Evan Parker, Chuck Nessa (of Nessa Records) and writer Ashley Kahn who also explore why this 33 minute long suite of music transcends generations and continues to resonate with and inspire music lovers across the world.

‘A Love Supreme – 50 Years On’ will air on BBC Radio 4 on Tuesday, 10th February at 11.30am, and will be repeated on Sunday, 15th February at 1.30pm. It will also appear on BBC World Service (TX date – TBC) .

The programme is produced by the dapper Jim Lister and is
A Folded Wing production.

About Paul Brad

Freelance journalist / Publisher Editor - Straight No Chaser magazine & From Jazz Funk & Fusion to Acid Jazz: A History Of The UK Jazz dance Scene by Mark 'Snowboy' Cotgrove / Music Fan: Interplanetary Sounds: Ancient to Future / Cultural Event Consultant & Activist / Nei Jia practitioner
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One Response to CELEBRATION TIME: A Love Supreme: 50 Years On

  1. Trevor says:

    Thanks Paul, I saw the show and am a big fan of Nat so will listen to this.

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