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Tropicology

Episode 61: Spiritual Jazz

12:00pm, 9-13-2020
<< Tropicology

Over the past couple weeks I have returned to the international music theme. But I want to keep a focus on the urgent issues driving the Black Lives Matter movement, so I am devoting the Second Sunday of each month to music from the black community in the United States. Second Sundays will continue to reveal the profound influence the black community has had building the culture of our country... We must never forget how much better we are as a nation because of the contributions of the black community. And hey, check it out, today happens to be the second Sunday in September, so we will be hearing home grown sounds on this episode. The theme will be back in the most significant musical contribution of the black community in the United States; of course I’m talking about jazz. But we will be hearing music from a very specific movement within the world of jazz, and that is Spiritual Jazz. Before the mid-60s the term “spiritual jazz” would probably have suggested jazz sounds drawing on musical traditions from the black church in our country… perhaps a gospel choir or a saxophone solo imitating the cadence of a preacher. But that all changed with the 1965 release of a single album: A Love Supreme by the classic John Coltrane quartet, featuring McCoy Tyner on piano, Elvin Jones on drums, and Jimmy Garrison on bass. This album was among the most important, influential, and critically acclaimed jazz albums of all time, and it forever changed the way the world would think about the idea of spiritual music. I will not be playing any tracks from A Love Supreme on this show… what we will hear on the show today amounts to some of my favorite tributes to A Love Supreme. Everything we will hear on today’s show was produced after A Love Supreme and stands on the shoulders of that artistic achievement… the one exception will be an earlier piece from the Coltrane quartet, a milepost along the way to the Love Supreme revelation.

  • 12:00pm Astral Traveling by Pharaoh Sanders on Thembi (Impulse!)
  • 12:06pm Love by The John Coltrane Quartet on First Meditations (for Quartet) (Impulse!)
  • 12:13pm Acknowledgement by Doug Carn on The Best of Doug Carn (Universal Sound)
  • 12:18pm Prince of Peace by Pharoah Sanders on Izipho Zam (My Gifts) (Strata-East)
  • 12:25pm The Creator has a Master Plan by Leon Thomas on Anthology (Soul Brother Records)
  • 12:29pm Contemplation by McCoy Tyner on The Real McCoy (Blue Note)
  • 12:32pm Angela by Lee Morgan on Lee Morgan (Blue Note)
  • 12:39pm Footprints by Wayne Shorter on Adam's Apple (Blue Note)
  • 12:47pm Tunji by The John Coltrane Quartet on Coltrane (Impulse!)
  • 12:53pm Blue Nile by Alice Coltrane on Ptah, The El Daoud (Impulse!)
  • 12:59pm Metamorphosis by Ananda Shankar on Ananda Shankar (Reprise)
  • 1:03pm Journey In Satchidananda by Alice Coltrane on Journey In Satchidananda (Impulse!)
  • 1:08pm Absolutions by Lee Morgan on Live at the Lighthouse (Blue Note)
  • 1:24pm 74 Miles Away by The Cannonball Adderley Quintet on 74 Miles Away - Walk Tall (Capitol Records)
  • 1:39pm Silver Cycles by Eddie Harris on Silver Cycles (Atlantic)
  • 1:42pm Power by Earth, Wind and Fire on Last Days and Time (Columbia)
  • 1:50pm Supreme Love by Bheki Mseleku on Celebration (Matsuli)
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