A Love Supreme
1. John Coltrane is a sort of wave, shifting and churning but not the sort of wave that breaks on shore. Coltrane is a surge; tidal, gravitational, and seismic. An all-consuming disruption of the stillness.
2. My first exposure to jazz was through my mother. She never really listened to jazz, but, when my guitar teacher told me that perhaps I should, she happily assisted. She worked at the public library in town and started bringing albums home. The first three that I remember were Take Five, Stan Getz: Greatest Hits, and A Love Supreme. The first two I absorbed readily but for A Love Supreme, I was not remotely prepared.
3. I've called John Coltrane by a number of metaphors but I always come back to water – waterfall or ocean. Never a river. I think it's less about the water itself and more about the gravity. The irrepressible pull downward; the way it hurls itself into obstacles, adapts, bounds over, or grinds into dust; the heaving lunar ebb and swell.
4. I really love old Coltrane too – Blue Train or Giant Steps – but it's not the same as "The Great Quartet." Coltrane evolves, of course, but the rhythm section is the thing that I think I'm drawn to. Maybe not McCoy Tyner, Elvin Jones, and Jimmy Garrison, but the totality; what they bring out of Coltrane. A boundless quality.
5. "Pursuance" is a trance. Symmetry and oddity; strident rigid beams of sound and wavering breath; interminable cascades of polyrhythm and figures hobbled at the joint; chains of wind and sharp bursts; the thunder of falling water; the sea inhaling with rain. A repetitive rhythmic cleansing of the senses.
6. An ocean is something into which one can disappear.