JOHN COLTRANE’S ‘A Love Supreme’ is a jazz icon. Almost 60 years old, it still intrigues, enthralls and excites. For a new perspective on the masterwork, Impulse! Records/Umewill be releasing a private, rarely heard, nightclub Coltrane performance of the suite on October 8th.
Late in 1965, Coltrane enjoyed a week-long run at The Penthouse Club in Seattle where he played his four-part ‘A Love Supreme’ suite – something he rarely did. Seattle saxophonist and educator Joe Brazil taped the performance and it’s only been heard by a few musicians and friends—and remains largely unknown until now.
The lineup for this performance is intriguing – Pharoah Sanders on saxophones, McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Jimmy Garrison and Donald (Rafael) Garrett on basses. Carlos Ward, then a young saxophonist just getting started on the scene, sat in as well.
The music was recorded with a two-microphone set-up onstage, connected to an Ampex reel-to-reel machine, and the only copies of the tapes were well cared for, yielding a remarkably clear and distortion-free recording. “What’s remarkable is that tapes from this era often suffer over the years from heat or moisture damage, or simply being stacked horizontally,” writes engineer Kevin Reeves who produced this release. “However, these tapes are in excellent condition… and the results are among the best amateur recordings of John Coltrane we’ve had the pleasure to work on.”