Coltrane’s A Love Supreme 50 years on: symbol of black pride

This week marks the 50th anniversary of the release of John Coltrane’s album, A Love Supreme, ‘easily one of the most important records ever made’, in the estimation of Sam Samuelson at AllMusic. A Love Supreme was recorded by John Coltrane’s quartet on 9 December 1964 and is generally considered to be Coltrane’s greatest work. The story … Continue reading Coltrane’s A Love Supreme 50 years on: symbol of black pride

From Berlin to New York: the origins of Blue Note

There was still a fortnight to go when the postman handed me an early Christmas present.  Out of the blue, and unprecedented, I was the lucky winner of a competition. The prize was a copy of Uncompromising Expression by Richard Havers, a massive, magnificent and beautifully-illustrated book published by Thames and Hudson (who awarded me the prize) to commemorate … Continue reading From Berlin to New York: the origins of Blue Note

At London Jazz Festival: John Surman and Abdullah Ibrahim

John Surman Last weekend we marked the opening of the 2014 London Jazz Festival by attending concerts by two jazz greats: John Surman, celebrating his seventieth year, and Abdullah Ibrahim, now in his 80th year. On Friday evening, while upstairs Guardian journalists were beavering away producing the next day’s newspaper, we were at the elegant new(ish) … Continue reading At London Jazz Festival: John Surman and Abdullah Ibrahim