A Love Supreme or Blue Train?

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by daza152, Apr 23, 2012.

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  1. daza152

    daza152 Member Thread Starter

    Hey guys these are about the only two I would consider John Coltranes finest and I believe there are many who would agree and disagree, what side of the fence are you sitting on with these 2 great albums if you could only pick one to own??? Would you describe them as similar or completely different to each other? Thanks.

    TBH hard choice however leaning towards A Love Supreme by a whisker...purr.
  2. Jackson

    Jackson Senior Member

    MA, USA
    For me anything else by Coltrane beats 'A Love Supreme'' the brilliance of that album escapes me, sorry, love ''Blue Train''.
  3. jackaroe

    jackaroe Active Member

    I love them both, but if I had to choose one that I couldn't live without it would be Love Supreme.
  4. Mark E. Moon

    Mark E. Moon Lieutenant Corporal, Gazpacho Police

    "My Favorite Things" and "Ballads" are my own Coltrane choices. In the poll, I voted "Blue Train".
  5. waxtomcat

    waxtomcat Forum Resident

    Blue Train, but in all honesty, I would take Giant Steps, or My Favorite Things first.
  6. Purple Jim

    Purple Jim Senior Member

    A Love Supreme.
  7. btf1980

    btf1980 Senior Member

    They're albums that can't really be compared as they are 7 years apart. Coltrane had a lot of growth in that time, both as a person and as a musician. He was at different places when these albums were recorded, both mentally and spiritually, and that comes across in his composing and playing. Blue Train and A Love Supreme are apples and oranges, not just in sound, but in line up. Blue Train has 3 horns (Trane, Lee Morgan and Curtis Fuller) and that changes the dynamics and the relationship the rhythm section will have playing around them. A Love Supreme has Trane in his quartet, so he's the only horn. He has much more freedom, and is not constrained to share solos with other horns. The focus is on him solely, with his rhythm section playing around that.

    Thematically, the mood and purpose of the albums will alter perceptions as well. I remember Gary Bartz saying that A Love Supreme is essentially a gospel album. He's right. Blue Train on the surface is a straight ahead, hard bop affair. However, it marks the beginning of Coltrane slowly shifting and implementing what is now known as Coltrane changes. He first did it on record on Blue Train. By the time A Love Supreme came around over 7 years later, he was a master of it and was a much more seasoned musician. Unless you understand the complexities of what Coltrane was doing, you're not really going to appreciate the growth in his playing from Blue Train to A Love Supreme.

    I love both these albums, but I love them differently. Equally, but differently. Obviously, there is no accounting for taste, but when questions like these come up, I always take into account where the musician was at the time. It's very important. In 1957, Coltrane was still for the most part a sideman, despite his Prestige dates (many of which were not really Coltrane led sessions, despite being marketed and released that way). By 1964 he was a leader. You think differently when it's your band. Couple that with 7 more years of experience, international tours, sobriety and a spiritual awakening, things will be dramatically different.
    mikeyt and johnnypaddock like this.
  8. brew ziggins

    brew ziggins Forum Prisoner

    The Village
    What btf said
  9. Sneaky Pete

    Sneaky Pete Flat the 5 and That’s No Jive

    These two are so different I don't think it is a logical comparison. Like all these polls iris just a personal taste issue. I chose A Love Supreme.
  10. eric-music1

    eric-music1 New Member

    New York, NY
    I like them both, but I like Blue Train better because it is more accessible, simpler, and easier on the ears. A Love Supreme is great too but is a more challenging listen.
  11. nathanpinzon

    nathanpinzon Forum Resident

    Bs. As., Argentina
    Blue Train, but Giant Steps and Ballads are my favorites.
  12. Lonson

    Lonson I'm in the kitchen with the Tombstone Blues

    As mentioned by several above, I don't really see how these can be compared, the poll really can only reflect a personal choice. A Love Supreme for me. I've never been a big fan of Blue Train, but A Love Supreme is more than just a "great jazz album." It has been an important album in my life, and in comparison Blue Train is just a blip. A Love Supreme is a strong statement from an artist whose work had meaning for him, and who transmits that meaning outward to me (and many others).
  13. ellingtonic

    ellingtonic Forum Resident

    I've never gotten into A Love Supreme but love Blue Train.
  14. Scott in DC

    Scott in DC Forum Resident

    Washington, DC
    Blue Train

    I chose Blue Train of the choices listed. My favoriteJC album is Giant Steps.

  15. mikestar

    mikestar Friendly Optimist

    Capitol Hill
    They are so different, but I love A Love Supreme.
  16. Turnaround

    Turnaround Senior Member

    I voted for Blue Train. Love Supreme is challenging and intense, while Blue Train is why I love jazz in the first place.

    It's like when people make lists of the greatest films of all time, Battleship Potemkin might be #1 for all the artistic reasons. But we really love to kick back and watch Pulp Fiction and Star Wars.

    My favorite Coltrane album is probably Giant Steps.
  17. Of these I'd pick A Love Surpreme. But my own favourite would be My Favourite Things.
  18. webbcity

    webbcity Confused Onlooker

    As others have said, it's apples and oranges...those two albums are SO different, but both brilliant in their own right. It's like comparing Kind of Blue and Bitches Brew. My personal taste leans towards A Love Supreme, but I love them both.
  19. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Senior Member

    My lab
    I like Blue Train, the title track is amazing, but I never thought the album as a whole was one of Coltrane's masterpieces. For more accessible Trane, Giant Steps and the three Atlantic albums that were culled from the same sessions (My Favorite Things, Coltrane's Sound, Coltrane Plays the Blues) are more impressive and enjoyable.
  20. Gary Freed

    Gary Freed Forum Resident

    Limiting choices here not sure of the reason for these two picks. Both are great recordings, but neither are my favorite from John Coltrane. Of the two I would have to say A Love Supreme.
  21. JBryan

    JBryan Forum Resident

    St Louis
    'Blue Train' demonstrates Coltrane's talent as a great jazz musician while 'A Love Supreme" encapsulates his abilities as a great jazz artist.
  22. Roger Thornhill

    Roger Thornhill Senior Member

    Ilford, Essex, UK
    Just reading the Penguin Guide review of it which says this:

    "A perfect example of the Blue Note effect, an over-valued record which bathes in the cachet of what turned out to be a fleeting association with the most glamorous label of its time"

    For me, his first truly great record was Giant Steps and the sequence from thereon is simply stunning.

    I'd go for A Love Supreme - one of the first jazz albums I heard when I joined a local record library and started borrowing everything in sight.
  23. ashulman

    ashulman Forum Resident

    Utica, NY
    Love them both, but when someone shoots high and hits you gotta give it up. A Love Supreme
  24. major_works

    major_works This is my Custom Title

    Ramsey, NJ, USA
    You got that right. It's pretty hard to maintain a bad mood through a listen to ALS.
  25. Erik Tracy

    Erik Tracy Meet me at the Green Dragon for an ale

    San Diego, CA, USA
    I have both and would agree - same here for the same reasons.

    Must be an eric/k thing....:righton:
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