This year marks the thirteenth anniversary of Jazz Appreciation Month held every April. Since 2001, the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian Insitution has fostered a movement to observe this great American art form.
For 2014, the institution and JAM has designated this April's theme as a celebration entitled Jazz Alchemy: A Love Supreme. In honor of jazz legend John Coltrane and to mark the 5oth anniversary of his composition "A Love Supreme." Here is what the Smithsonian states:
Recorded in December of 1964, A Love Supreme is Coltrane's musical declaration of spirituality and fatih in a loving God who supported him through drug addiction and other human failures. While drug, alcohol dependence, and other life challenges may have temporarily stolen Coltrane's peace, it did not capture Coltrane's creative genius. Instead Coltrane transmuted human suffering into a hymn –composing a four part suite that is legendary in the jazz canon for a "unique chemistry" that many performers and hearers acknowledge can be felt but rarely put into words. Coltrane immersed himself in the composition, recording the chant "A love supreme," writing the liner notes, and composing a poem to accompany the fourth movement, Psalm.
To learn more about John Coltrane and A Love Supreme, you can visit NPR's a blog supreme posting of March 07, 2012. It covers the backstory on the making of "A Love Supreme" with additional links to more stories about John Coltrane. In addition, NPR's a blog supreme March 28th posting is a story of recently discovered rare photos of John Coltrane in the "A Love Supreme" session with a photos of Coltrane, music charts, and notes.
In the Greater Buffalo area, let us all celebrate the goodness and spirit of John Coltrane. Jazz artists and jazz audiences alike, this is the month to recognize and celebrate the music of jazz, which contributes to enriching the lives of many.