The real treat, though, is disc 2. Luckily, the only live version of "A Love Supreme" was documented in Antibes in 1965. It would have been an unspeakable tragedy if that music had just disappeared into the air. The live version is presented here in its best sound ever, as it is an excellent analog transfer from the original mono tape made by French national radio. Coltrane and the rest of the group stretch out extensively in the live rendition, without losing the shape and contour of the suite as originally recorded.
There are even some outtakes of "Resolution" and "Acknowledgment" that miraculously have been preserved. Particularly noteworthy is the December 10 session that features Archie Shepp in the group. Coltrane recorded over some of the original tape, but the fascinating version of "Acknowledgment" with Shepp has been extracted and luckily is available for mankind to study and enjoy, even though there are a few dropouts. This is an amazing, historical moment that has been preserved. The outtakes are the jazz equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls. That in itself is a good reason to buy the 2 CD edition.
When first released in late 2002, the double-disc remaster had two huge advantages over the single CD that had been previously available: the marvelous increase in sound quality for the original album, and the added contents of disc 2. On the first count, the sonic improvement is impossible to miss; I'm far from an audiophile and I could hear a jump in clarity right from Elvin Jones's opening gong. This re-remastered version is something serious fans of this album will definitely want to hear, whether it's part of this two-disc edition or on its own (since it's just been put out as a single release). Even though the pre-02 CD sounded great.. this one still stomps it flat.
So then, whether to pop for this edition? That depends on whether you want disc 2. The famed Coltrane quartet only performed the material live once, and it's all presented here, again with the clearest sound you're ever likely to hear.Read more ›