Thursday, June 11, 2009

Why ask which is the best Coltrane?

"What's Trane's best album?" is probably the most asked question on Internet forums devoted to his music. But this often turns into a debate of whether "A Love Supreme" is or isn't the best, and if not which one surpasses it? So in my mind the consensus, even if nothing close to unanimous, is always going to be that it's "A Love Supreme." It wins by a clear plurality and maybe by a majority. It gets my vote (although I may love his solo on Miles Davis' Flamenco Sketches on "Kind of Blue" as best single performance....but then all the solos on A Love Supreme are so compelling... and so the debate devolves in like manner in all such questions that include ALS.

So a more interesting question might be "Excluding ALS, which is his best album?" Today I would answer "Sun Ship." Tomorrow maybe something else.