Guest Blogger Earl Brooks is a 2010 graduate of the University of Kansas. Currently, he is a graduate student of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Much of his current research involves musical performance and theory along with historical and literary studies.
There are few jazz artists that have been written about as much as John Coltrane. On one hand, there are his many musical accomplishments that changed jazz forever. Born September 23, 1926 in Hamlet, North Carolina, Coltrane went from a side-man in Philadelphia based blues bands to performing with legends of jazz such as Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk and Dizzy Gillespie, to leading an illustrious solo career with his own quartet. Along with an infamous victory over drug and alcohol abuse, Coltrane was able to remain on the cutting edge of jazz’s evolution right up until his death in 1967 from liver disease. Coltrane is most well-known for his album A Love Supreme and the album itself is heralded as a jazz classic. Although Coltrane and this album in particular have been approached from many other academic disciplines, there is however only a small amount in terms of rhetorical analysis and criticism. The album is structured as a suite split into four parts; “Acknowledgement,” “Resolution,” “Pursuance,” and “Psalm.” The album is a mixture of hard bop and free jazz with “Psalm” and the beginning of “Acknowledgement” being free jazz.