A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane's Signature Album

Derek Fairbridge

Ashley Kahn’s book A Love Supreme: The Story of John Coltrane’s Signature Album (Viking), a lovingly detailed account of the creation of John Coltrane’s classic album of the same name, is a cause for celebration. Following the same format he used for a book on Miles Davis’s Kind of Blue, Kahn documents the gestation, birth and life of Coltrane’s signature album. Full of first-rate music journalism and augmented by great archival photos and generous insight from all those who collaborated with Coltrane on the album, this isn’t so much a book as the ultimate set of liner notes. Is this enough to constitute a book? Probably not, and A Love Supreme does seem padded in spots (do we really need to read about the spiritual awakenings this album brought to Carlos Santana or Bono?). But really, when you’re a fan of this music—and who else but fans would buy this book?—the padding is nothing more than a little inoffensively superfluous icing on a damn fine piece of cake.

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Derek Fairbridge

Derek Fairbridge is the editor of Vanilla Crow, a zine published in Penticton.


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