According to 'Trane himself, as written in the liner notes to A Love Supreme, “The music herein is presented in four parts. The first is entitled "ACKNOWLEDGEMENT", the second, "RESOLUTION", the third, "PURSUANCE", and the fourth and last part is a musical narration of the theme, "A LOVE SUPREME" which is written in the context; it is entitled "PSALM".”
It is also this Psalm, this meditation, part of which I read at the outset, that Coltrane would place on a stand and play as he performed, producing/reproducing what he said is a musical narration of – Love Supreme.
Alice Coltrane, a multi-instrumental genius and enlightened spiritual leader is not just Coltrane’s wife. She started her journey before meeting Coltrane. And because of this set her path to cultivate rhythms that can heal the world just as John Coltrane discovered he could do. It could be surmised that her presence in John Coltrane life was divine. It was guided by universal law - a law that states everything is in rhythm, everything is in constant motion. Everything is vibrational. And as we move through life this constant hum, this vibrational hum is sure to attract its tonal partners.
In the November 1967 issue of Ebony in an article titled: Requiem for ‘Trane, Archie Shepp suggests that “he [‘Trane] was a bridge…the most accomplished and comprehensive of the so-called post-bop musicians to make an extension into what is called the avant-garde…” (Shepp, 1967).
Something else to consider, specifically in relation to John Coltrane being a bridge, standing in a deeper tradition, according to Youngquist in A Pure Solar World Sun Ra and the Birth of Afrofuturism, “in the mid-fifties Sun Ra gave a broadsheet entitled “Solaristic Precepts” to John Coltrane. On the broadsheets Sun Ra wrote “Warning this treatise is only for Thinking Beings..." (238).
A thinking Being, indeed…
In an interview years later, Coltrane would state that, “I think music can make the world better and if I’m qualified, I want to do it. I’d like to point out to people the divine in a musical language that transcend words. I want to speak to their souls”.
And it was with Alice Coltrane who not only accentuated and amplified Coltrane’s ability to synthesis the rhythmic patterns he put together, as he listened to vibrations most of us are unable to, they both became eternal beings, thinking beings who were able to conceive of the Negative reminiscences of Space-Time, as is expressed in Is, Are, Be and reconcepted “AM”.
Today...: uninterrupted conversations with our eégún: thinking about the Coltranes [John and Alice] w/ Dr. Anyabwile Love
A Philadelphia native, Anyabwile Love completed his graduate studies in Africana Studies at Temple University, receiving his PhD in May 2014.
Currently he serves as Associate Editor for the literary journal A Gathering Together and is an Assistant Professor of History + Black Studies at Community College of Philadelphia.
Anyabwile is the founder of The John Coltrane Symposium-a community centered annual celebration of Coltrane’s life and his musical legacy, its second annual iteration will be in session, September 22-25, 2021 with a possible extended day until the 26th.
For more, follow the symposium’s Instagram page and/or visit the website - https://www.thecoltranesymposium.com/
Our show was produced today in solidarity with the native/indigenous, African, and Afro-descended communities at Standing Rock; Venezuela; Cooperation Jackson in Jackson, Mississippi; Brazil; the Avalon Village in Detroit; Colombia; Kenya; Palestine; South Africa; Ghana, Ayiti; and other places who are fighting for the protection of our land for the benefit of all people.
- Jazz & Blues