A Love Supreme

Kenny had a great post over at Empty Kettle the other day. I am particularly fond of the paintings of Paul Gauguin, and I thoroughly agree with Kenny’s point regarding the irony of such a dissolute man reflecting such beauty.

John Coltrane died of liver cancer in 1967. He had overcome alchoholism and heroin addiction a decade before, but the damage had been done. He experienced a spiritual awakening which led him to sobriety among other things. Of course, there are those who do not care for his music, nor do I wish to imply that every note he played was divinely inspired. However, I must confess that I am moved by his music in a way that very few composers or players have affected me. I will never forget the Sunday afternoon when I listened to ‘A Love Supreme’ on headphones and started to read the liner notes. I came across the ‘Psalm’ that Coltrane wrote, and I puzzled over it until the fourth movement, ‘Psalm’ moved into Trane’s solo and I realized that he was literally playing the words of his psalm through his horn. This ex-junkie and former wino was singing to God, and it moved me to tears. Divinity and grace reveal themselves in unlikely places. 

One Response to “A Love Supreme”

  1. Speaking of Music. I wrote today about a similar reaction to Pavarotti. A fat, lazy, egotistical, womanizer who’s voice was pure magic.

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