John Coltrane Handwritten – A Love Supreme (1965)
“Spiritual jazz (or astral jazz) is a sub-genre of jazz that originated in the United States during the 1960s. The genre is characterized by its chaotic and noisy version on jazz that focuses on transcendence and spirituality. John Coltrane‘s A Love Supreme (1965) is considered a landmark album in the genre. During the 1960s in the United States, the civil rights movement was occurring, causing societal change, political movements, and the desire of the marginalized to have their voices heard. As a result, African-American people were given more freedom to celebrate their culture and to express themselves religiously. This lead to a desire to push the conventions of jazz, with some artists choosing to search for transcendence and spirituality in their music. John Coltrane released A Love Supreme in 1965, which was generally considered the birthplace of spiritual jazz. Treblezine wrote ‘Spiritual jazz begins, essentially, with John Coltrane,’ while Pitchfork wrote ‘This musical exploration [of spirituality] was epitomized by tenor saxophonist John Coltrane’. A Love Supreme and other works by John Coltrane inspired other jazz musicians to create music searching for transcendence. For example, Pharoah Sanders and Don Cherry were considered to have taken inspiration from Coltrane’s spiritual works. After John Coltrane’s death in 1967, his wife Alice Coltrane and Pharoah Sanders—both who had previously played with Coltrane—were some of the first to continue the sound of the genre. Coltrane’s 1971 album Journey in Satchidananda combined spiritual jazz with influences from Hindustani classical music, after her journey into spirituality with help from Swami Satchidananda. Journey in Satchidananda used ragas, harps, sitars, and ouds to achieve its sound. Pharoah Sanders took inspiration from Arabic, Indian, and Afro-Cuban music, to create early spiritual jazz albums, including Tauhid (1967) and Karma (1969). …”
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