The weary sadness

a-love-supremeSo, I’ve been trying to listen to John Coltrane’s masterpiece A Love Supreme every day this month. It’s been interesting.

There’s a point in the last track, the near the end of the 18-minute “Pusuance/Part 4 – Psalm” that strikes me. Around the 13:30 mark, and again around the 16 to 17 minute mark that he hits a four-note riff and the voice of the instrument almost breaks. And the fact that he does it more than once, and it almost breaks each time speaks to me, although I don’t know what it’s saying.

There’s a sadness there. A weariness. It’s like he keeps reaching for something — almost to the breaking point — but doesn’t quite get it. And there’s a sadness that follows that isn’t apparent anywhere else on the disc. The sadness of failure. The weariness of resignation. It’s like the “breakthrough” he had at the beginning of the disc, the joy, is lost and he knows he’ll never get it back.


If you’re a jazz scholar and you can enlighten me on this particular part of the music, let me know. If you’re not a jazz scholar, but you hear it to, I’d like to hear your take.

And the experiment continues …


One thought on “The weary sadness

  1. I’m glad your sticking with this. It’s inspired me to finally give him the look I’ve always wanted to. I plan to look for the C.D. at the Library this weekend.

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