After buying Ornette Coleman’s classic album The Shape of Jazz to Come for only 99 cents on Amazon this past weekend, and then listening to it, I was in a jazz kind of mood. I’m not a jazz aficionado by any stretch, but I took the time to listen to what I do own – Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, and John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. To me, jazz is a form best digested in complete albums, so in an unprecedented 1000 Minutes move, I’m going to include my favorite jazz album – the aforementioned A Love Supreme – in its entirety on my list.
23-25: John Coltrane – A Love Supreme (Total Time: 33:02) [Time Remaining: 843:36]
- Acknowledgement (7:47)
- Resolution (7:25)
- Pursuance/Psalm (17:50)
I’m not going to post any of the songs from the album, but you should buy it without having to hear it. I found my copy used at a local record store, and I’m sure you could do the same. Written as an acknowledgement that Coltrane himself wasn’t responsible for his talent, but that it was a gift given to him by his Creator, this is the standard Coltrane work. It is uplifting and joyful, and has influenced a countless number of individuals both in and out of the musical realm. Quite simply, it is a beautiful album that every music fan should experience, and in my opinion, it not only holds up as a jazz standard, but as a standard of any genre.
It’s difficult for me to imagine anyone being unaffected by the album, which ends with a poem written by Coltrane, the words of which are found in the album’s liner notes, and relayed on the album through “musical narration.” Whether or not you consider yourself spiritual, it’s hard to argue with the power of the closing notes of the album, transcribed into words by Coltrane as: “Elation. Elegance. Exaltation. All from God. Thank you God. Amen.”
While my enjoyment of A Love Supreme is at least in part on a spiritual level, my identification with Radiohead’s “Talk Show Host” is much more carnal. The song starts out simple enough – some repetitive chords, Thom Yorke’s vocals, a slow drum beat. And then, about a minute into the song, Yorke sneers “You want me? Fuckin’ well come and find me.” That particular use of “the f-word” is unassailably cool to me. I can see Yorke’s lip curled, a beckoning motion while he sings it, and when I listen to it now, I still feel the same snicker I got when I listened to it with my headphones on, just so my parents wouldn’t hear.
Old Tooth & Nail stuff was the best. I don’t think you can find this particular Damien Jurado song anywhere else other than this sampler from 1997. (Which you can buy, used, through Amazon for as little as $0.01!) And these two minutes and change, with the crashing, post-shoegaze guitar are still some of the best around. Jurado’s style has evolved in the years since this track was released, and I don’t own all of his subsequent output, but in my opinion, if he could only use one song to sum up his legacy, this one would be a pretty solid choice.