BBC Radio 4 feels the Love Supreme

A BBC Radio 4 documentary presented by Courtney Pine this February marks the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s seminal album

Half a century after the release of John Coltrane’s ground-breaking album A Love Supreme in February 1965, a special documentary looking at this historic piece of music will be aired on BBC Radio 4 on 10 February.

Presented by Courtney Pine (pictured right), the documentary will look at what makes A Love Supreme enduringly popular. In the programme Pine visits the Gaumont State Theatre in Kilburn, London where Coltrane performed on tour in 1961.

The documentary also features three saxophonists who have been influenced by the album in their own music: Nat Birchall, Finn Peters and Jason Yarde.

A Love Supreme was John Coltrane’s 10th studio release on Impulse! Records and marked a juncture in his musical style as he began to move towards free improvisation. Courtney Pine will release his own 16th studio album in March 2015, which is made up of duets featuring pianist Zoe Rahman.

Pine has said of A Love Supreme: “The first time I felt the power of A Love Supreme was when I was 15. The effect was like being hit by a sledgehammer. It has that rare quality in music, the ability to talk to generations and with each generation comes a more in-depth viewpoint of looking at one of this planet’s greatest musical statements.”

The documentary airs on Tuesday 10 February 2015 at 11.30am on BBC Radio 4, and is repeated on Sunday 15 February at 1.30pm. A re-envisioning of A Love Supreme by The Enlightenment Ensemble from the 2014 Meltdown Festival will also air on BBC Radio 3 on Monday 2 February at 11pm.

Sally Evans-Darby

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