John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' Marks 50 Years; One-Off Debut in France Surfaces on YouTube

By Ian Holubiak on Dec 10, 2014 03:04 PM EST

On June 26, 1965, John Coltrane performed, for the only time in his career, A Love Supreme to a live audience. Perhaps dividing jazz listeners early on, nonetheless, Supreme has been ranked by critics as one of the most iconic jazz albums in existence.

This month brought the 50th anniversary of John Coltrane recording A Love Supreme with Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner and Jimmy Garrison. The following year the album was released and revolutionized the genre. As NPR notes, the recording is "a spiritual declaration that his musical devotion was now intertwined with his faith in God."

And to add to this shrouded musical legacy, Coltrane only held one performance of the album. A one-off in Antibes, France, July 26, 1965, saw the unparalleled excellence of Coltrane as he wailed from his instrument.

No matter your pathology — as Nat Hentoff at The Daily Beast notes, if you feel that Coltrane had little to say on the sax and if you preferred Miles Davis, who did vouch for the guy — the LP hangs high on the jazz wall.

While there may not be much footage of the concert, there are, with thanks to the good people at Esquire, 14 minutes of tape that has survived all these years.

So without further ado, check out Coltrane in France below:

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TagsJohn Coltrane, A Love Supreme, Miles Davis, Elvin Jones, McCoy Tyner, Jimmy Garrison

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