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The cover of John Coltrane's A Love Supreme

John Coltrane: A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1965)

This transcendent album by the legendary saxophonist was one-of-a-kind in so many ways. The only record Trane wrote notes for. A recording that almost didn’t get made because of its long-form (and therefore non-commercial) aspects. A bold statement of spirituality that is beyond denomination. Authors like Ashley Kahn and Lewis Porter have written in-depth books about this seminal disc, whose simple theme belies a creative breadth unmatched in any of Trane’s other recordings. LEE MERGNER

[Here is the other spot where our “one leader album per decade” rule becomes a major irritant (the first was in the previous decade). A Love Supreme’s place at the top of the heap is undeniable, but where does that leave Coltrane’s many other incredible ’60s albums: Giant Steps, My Favorite Things, and Live at the Village Vanguard, to name just three? Where it leaves them is off our list. But they shouldn’t be off yours. —Ed.]

Learn more about A Love Supreme on Amazon and Apple Music.