The Campbell Brothers’ sacred steel gospel version of John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme was commissioned by Lincoln Center Out of Doors and Duke Performances at Duke University. The piece premiered at Lincoln Center in New York City on August 8, 2014.
Fifty years ago John Coltrane composed and recorded his most spiritual composition. Coltrane, whose father was a minister, included a prayer in the liner notes, and phrased his peroration to those words.
The Campbell Brothers, whose father is a bishop, grew up in churches where steel guitars replaced organs, a style known as Sacred Steel. Every Sunday they played for church services, where they were admonished to “play the word.”
This Sacred Steel gospel tradition has proved fertile ground for A Love Supreme. The Campbell Brothers approach this major work with a deep connection to the spiritual journey the composer undertook. At its Lincoln Center premier, the piece was greeted by shouts of joy and a wild standing ovation.