The Marvelous Omnipotence of Love
Some theological jazz riffs on openness,
Influenced by process theology and open theism,
In appreciation of the life and music of John Coltrane
John Coltrane and Love Supreme
The Openness of John Coltrane
Portion of Liner Notes for 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. ALL PRAISE TO GOD. As time and events moved on, a period of irresolution did prevail. I entered into a phase which was contradictory to the pledge and away from the esteemed path; but thankfully, now and again through the unerring and merciful hand of God, I do perceive and have been duly re-informed of His OMNIPOTENCE, and of our need for, and dependence on Him. At this time I would like to tell you that NO MATTER WHAT ... IT IS WITH GOD. HE IS GRACIOUS AND MERCIFUL. HIS WAY IS IN LOVE, THROUGH WHICH WE ALL ARE. IT IS TRULY – A LOVE SUPREME – .
50 great moments in jazz:
This was music to dazzle jazz fans, but Coltrane was to unexpectedly win over a completely new audience with his best-known album, the much more contemplative A Love Supreme, from 1964. It became a hit with the hippy audience of the day (and with plenty of rock guitarists too), notably for the mantra-like chant inspired by Coltrane's absorption in Indian music and eastern religious thought. His sense of victory over alcohol and heroin use, which had undermined his health and resulted in Miles Davis firing him twice, also contributed to the album (though it turned out to be tragically shortlived).
Coltrane forged on through the 60s, shedding and recruiting band-members on the way, providing a model for the difficult art of larger-group free-improv with his 1965 recording Ascension, and in his final years forming an uncompromising new band with his second wife, Alice, on keyboards, saxophonist Pharoah Sanders, and Rashied Ali – a more abstract, textural performer than Elvin Jones had been – on drums and percussion. John Coltrane died in New York on 17 July 1967.