LoveSupreme3My favorite music recordings of all time are three records – all recorded during the fifties and sixties. This past weekend, I’ve bumped ‘Kind of Blue’ by Miles Davis from the top spot and moved John Coltrane’s ‘Love Supreme’ back above Thelonius Monk’s ‘Monk’s Dream.’ I had to because after a few spellbound moments in subzero temperatures watching another blazing orange sunset along the East Tennessee countryside, John Coltrane spoke to me with Psalms.

I will do all I can to be worthy of Thee O Lord.
It all has to do with it.
Thank you God.
Peace. (to be continued)

The temperature had dropped below 20 degrees and following the sunset on a Sunday, I went for a late afternoon walk near Warriors Path Park along ‘Devil’s Backbone.’ This rocky hillside is a moderate strenuous hike near the golf course at the edge of the lake and it’s a zig-zag ascent to the top that boasts gorgeous views of this state park in Eastern Tennessee. I had downloaded the ‘Traneumentary‘ podcast a couple of weeks ago from Itunes and wanted to finish out the series with my iPhone in a quiet space walking up and down those hills and enjoy another glorious sunset.

The Traneumentary is a free podcast featuring over 30 musicians, producers and authors who talk about the most influential musician in the world of Jazz.

John Coltrane, born in 1928 in nearby Hamlet, North Carolina attained deified status in musical history and it’s easy to understand why as you study his life and love for his music. There are plenty of devotees on this podcast and it makes sense why some refer to him as Saint John Coltrane and why there is a church in his honor in San Francisco.

As a musician, ‘Trane’ continues to speak to me through his music – just like he did last Sunday when time stood still as Lewis Porter, author of ‘JOHN COLTRANE, HIS LIFE AND MUSIC‘ decoded the poem Coltrane wrote inside the liner notes to the Love Supreme album. Right before sunset, I stopped cold in my trek as the words deliberately followed the structured melody of ‘Trane’s’ saxophone melody on ‘Psalms.’ It never occurred to me this reading and performance was John Coltrane’s most intimate statement of faith and although the words seem trite by themselves, the combination of poem and melody (John’s gifts) elevated my own spirit. It’s a stirring moment for recorded music and this work deserves it’s place in the most sacred moments of recorded music.

The ‘Love Supreme’ recording has been in my top three since my friend Kevin Adams and I used to talk about the music when we used to play jazz together several years ago. He adored the music too and like many other commentaries on the podcast, this is another recording that you can play over and over and hear something different every time.

There’s plenty of entry points into the music of John Coltrane and each one as diverse and complex as the artist. From Dizzy Gilliespe, Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins and his abstract era in the mid-sixties, Coltrane was a seeker. He was always rehearsing – looking for new conventions in his style and sharpening his dexterity on his instrument. After reading one his biographies a few years ago, ‘Chasin’ the Trane’ and following his notes on many recordings, I have to agree with some of the comments on this podcast – “Jazz began its first notes with Louis Armstrong and ended with the notes of John Coltrane.’


The Traneumentary podcast is a must for any jazz affectionado and what’s unique about this recording are the short episodes and diverse collection of commentaries. Each episode is between 5 and 10 minutes and present short audio segments with performers who worked with Trane like the amazing McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Cobb and others. There are also comments by plenty of players influenced by his music including Anton Figg, Dr. Billy Taylor, Jason Moran, and many more. From general interviews to commentaries over the music, these fragments are moving insights into this musical enigma who left us with plenty of holy moments that express the most sublime fragments of the human soul and emotion.

LoveSupremeColtrane was a seeker and perhaps that’s what continues to inspire me. I’m in awe of his dedication and sensitivity to his music and after listening to the 30-some episodes of this podcast, I’m increasingly intrigued by his character and will continue to spend time with him and his sacred moments of sound – sharing a newfound joy in ‘A Love Supreme.’

From the liner notes…the poem to Love Supreme in its entirety – best served with in quiet moments with this shamanic soul.

A Love Supreme
By John Coltrane

I will do all I can to be worthy of Thee O Lord.
It all has to do with it.
Thank you God.
There is none other.
God is. It is so beautiful. Thank you God. God is all.
Help us to resolve our fears and weaknesses.
Thank you God.
In You all things are possible.
We know. God made us so.
Keep your eye on God.
God is. he always was. he always will be.
No Matter what . . . it is God.
He is gracious and merciful.
It is most important that I know Thee.
Words, sounds, speech, men, memory, thoughts,
fears and emotions—time—all related . . .
all made from one . . . all made in one.
Blessed be His name.
Thought waves—heat waves—all vibrations—
all paths lead to God. Thank you God.

His way . . . it is so lovely . . . it is gracious.
it is merciful — Thank you God.
One thought can produce millions of vibrations
and they all go back to God . . . everything does.
Thank you God.
Have no fear . . . believe . . . Thank you God.
The universe has many wonders. God is all.
His way . . . it is so wonderful.
Thoughts—deeds—vibrations, etc.
They all go back to God and He cleanses all.
He is gracious and merciful . . .
Thank you God.
Glory to God . . . God is so alive.
God is.
God loves.
May I be acceptable in thy sight.
We are all one in His grace.
The fact that we do exist is acknowledgement
of Thee O Lord.
Thank you God.
God will wash away all our tears . . .
He always has . . .
He always will.
Seek Him everyday. In all ways seek God everyday.
Let us sing all songs to God
To whom all praise is due . . . praise God.
No road is an easy one, but they all go back to God.
With all we share God.
It is all with god.
It is all with Thee.
Obey the Lord
Blessed is He.
We are all from one thing . . . the will of God . . .
thank you God
I have seen God—I have seen ungodly—
none can be greater—none can compare to God.
Thank you God.
He will remake us . . . He always has and he
always will.
It is true—blessed be His name—thank you God.
God breathes through us so completely . . .
so gently we hardly feel it . . . yet,
it is everything.
Thank you God.
All from God.
Thank you God. Amen.