The Love Song
Please note: MP3s are only kept online for a short time, and if this entry is from more than a couple of weeks ago, the music probably won't be available to download any more.


John Coltrane - "Acknowledgment (A Love Supreme)"

During the year 1957, I experienced, by the grace of God, a spiritual awakening which was to lead me to a richer, fuller, more productive life. At that time, in gratitude, I humbly asked to be given the means and privilege to make others happy through music. I feel this has been granted through His grace. - From the liner notes

"Acknowledgment" is a description of Coltrane's "spiritual awakening". At first there is serenity; simply an acknowledgment of newness. And then the substance of the realization is hinted at by Jimmy Garrison's bass line. Elvin Jones surrounds the band with his ride cymbal and snare, and gets under them with his toms and bass drum. Coltrane's playing is too bright for McCoy Tyner, so he looks away, occasionally turning back towards the piano to throw in his delicately timed and harmonically complex chords. Coltrane hurts, but blows through it, occasionally overblowing slightly, losing control. And then he puts into words what Garrison's been steadfastly playing throughout, that this is a love supreme.

Even more than a love song to god, A Love Supreme is also a tribute to music's capacity to express that love. [Buy]


John Ellison - "Lost The Will To Live"

This is a different kind of love song and a classic of Philadelphia soul. Ellison?s lyrics are an unabashed testament to the destructive power of love lost. Since his girlfriend left him, he?s stopped eating, he can?t go outside for fear of a public outburst of weeping, and he is utterly convinced that he will be ?taken away? (to an asylum?). He can?t even make it through the song without breaking down and crying in harmony with the organ , begging alongside the desperate guitar.

The horn section, like those two bad dudes from the Muppet Show peanut gallery, comments throughout: ?It?s true. He?s in real bad shape.?

Take joy in his suffering. [Buy]

Posted by Jordan at September 21, 2004 11:36 PM

"Lost the Will to Live" is really terrific, and I really like (and agree with) what you say about the horns.

re "Acknowledgement," you've made me listen to it differently... I had always struggled (frustratedly) trying to feel the 'love supreme' message in Coltrane's playing. He's flailing so much! But maybe I'm looking for something that's not there: God's in the *bassline* :) , present and loving while Coltrane howls with pain... until that sudden soft realization and its vocalized expression.

You're doing such a lovely job. Thank-you!

Posted by Sean at September 22, 2004 1:01 AM

What a beautiful pair of tracks. Thank you. I especially like what you wrote about the Coltrane.

Posted by M o I at September 22, 2004 4:13 AM

Amen! is all I need to say...

Posted by Matthew at September 22, 2004 7:29 AM

waldorf and statler!!

Posted by anne at September 22, 2004 10:49 AM

Thank you all for the very warm welcome. I appreciate it.

Sorry for being so slow in my response to comments, but, believe it or not, I don't own a computer right now, so time spent on the computer is time spent imposing on others.

Anne - Where were you last night when I couldn't convince Google to help me remember their names? Where?

Keith - As you can see, I took your advice. Thank you.

Kathryn - I will link to homepages of lesser known bands, but in terms of collaborators, so many of the artists I post will have too many collaborators to provide info about all of them. Thank you also.

Paperfingers and jb - Indeed, The Wooden Stars are from Ottawa, but don't fret, I'm still representing, as I too am from Ottawa (Sean also).

Richard - As with most Latin nouns adopted into English, 'lacuna' can be pluralized with an 's' as well as in the old fashioned way. In terms of your question about why American blogs are less and German and Canadian blogs more, I don't feel equipped to answer as I'm so new to the blog world. But it's an interesting question and one that I'll think about as I'm introduced to more sites.

Sean - I'm going to call you this evening. Stay home.

Again, thank you all.

Posted by Jordan at September 22, 2004 1:43 PM

Will be pulling Love Supreme out tonight. Love the songs you guys post.

Posted by jenny at September 22, 2004 7:00 PM

please impose again; it is always nice to see you.

Posted by anne at September 22, 2004 7:37 PM

okay, just had to interject here. while i love coltrane and appreciate his gift for taking music in directions hitherto not sought after this post implores me to mention my all time favorite cover of "a love supreme" by branford marsalis. you can find in on the stolen moments: red, hot + cool second cd. absolute etheral experience listening to this track. marsalis has the spirit, feeling and intensity of this track nailed.

Posted by irc at September 26, 2004 5:01 PM

Thankyou for the Ellison track! Been playing on repeat for some time now and makes me want to drag out Bowies 'Young Americans'. Try them together!

Posted by Hugh at September 27, 2004 2:50 PM

thanks Lord to give ears. And you to share this delightful tune by John Coltrane.
Everyday you make my day!
kudos 4 U!!

From Buenos Aires!

Posted by dario at September 28, 2004 11:22 AM

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about the authors
Sean Michaels is the founder of Said the Gramophone. He is a writer, critic and author of the theremin novel Us Conductors. Follow him on Twitter or reach him by email here. Click here to browse his posts.

Emma Healey writes poems and essays in Toronto. She joined Said the Gramophone in 2015. This is her website and email her here.

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Dan Beirne wrote regularly for Said the Gramophone from August 2004 to December 2014. He is an actor and writer living in Toronto. Any claim he makes about his life on here is probably untrue. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.

Jordan Himelfarb wrote for Said the Gramophone from November 2004 to March 2012. He lives in Toronto. He is an opinion editor at the Toronto Star. Click here to browse his posts. Email him here.
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