John Coltrane’s Unearthed Live ‘A Love Supreme,’ and 12 More New Songs

Every Friday, pop critics for The New York Times weigh in on the week’s most notable new songs and videos. Just want the music? Listen to the Playlist on Spotify here (or find our profile: nytimes). Like what you hear? Let us know at [email protected] and sign up for our Louder newsletter, a once-a-week blast of our pop music coverage.

John Coltrane, ‘A Love Supreme, Pt. IV — Psalm (Live in Seattle)’

When John Coltrane recorded his masterpiece, “A Love Supreme,” in late 1964, he was demanding an escape from the confines of modern jazz. He was improvising on the level of sound, as much as notes, and he’d already started bringing in new, more freewheeling collaborators to join his quartet. Partly because of that shift, and partly because of how intimate the piece felt to him, he barely played “A Love Supreme” live. But this week, Impulse! Records revealed the existence a 56-year-old tape of him performing the suite in Seattle, in fall 1965, with an expanded version of the quartet. It’s the only known recording of Coltrane playing it for a club audience, and it will be out as a full album on Oct. 8. “Psalm,” the suite’s serene finale and the only publicly released track so far, is the most personal part: Coltrane had set “Psalm’s” melody to the cadence of a praise poem he wrote, and in Seattle he played it without either of the two other saxophonists in that evening’s band. More than an hour in, with the energy of the set suffusing the stage, he turns pieces of the melody into little incantations, coaxing a deep-bellied cry from his horn. GIOVANNI RUSSONELLO

SZA, ‘Nightbird’

SZA released a trio of intimate songs on SoundCloud this week, perhaps as a place holder before her next album. On “Nightbird,” the mood is toxic and the singing is limber. SZA has a way of frankly and unflashily relating profoundly complex emotional experiences, building on the melodic structures of 1990s R&B, but also adding some of the sonic distance that’s been built into the genre over the last decade. “Nightbird,” both offhand and devastating, is among her best. JON CARAMANICA

Fantastic Negrito featuring Miko Marks, ‘Rolling Through California’

“Rolling Through California” has a twangy, country-soul groove that harks back to the late-1960s San Francisco of Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Grateful Dead, all affable and gleaming. But Fantastic Negrito, with Miko Marks harmonizing above his bluesy cackle, sings about how the old California dream has given way to wildfires and pandemic; the foot-stomping chorus goes, “Can you hear the sound/It’s burning to the ground.” JON PARELES

The Felice Brothers, ‘To-Do List’

This “To-Do List” starts with everyday chores — “Go to the bank and deposit checks” — but escalates quickly, casually and magnificently to greater goals: “Defy all natural laws,” “Proclaim a lasting peace,” “Discover a miracle drug.” True to the band’s upstate New York location, the Felice Brothers hark back to the Band, with hand-played instruments and a chugging beat; it’s romping honky-tonk existentialism. PARELES

Randy Travis, ‘Ain’t No Use’

Listen to the mechanical beat of the drums and the ultraprecise mesh of the twin guitars in “Ain’t No Use,” an unrequited love song complaining, “It ain’t no use to talk to you about love.” It’s a track that was shelved from Randy Travis’s 1986 album “Storms of Life,” and even with Travis’s conversational vocal, it’s also a harbinger of the computerized country to come. PARELES

Deerhoof, ‘Plant Thief’

“Someone’s cooking with my spices!” Satomi Matsuzaki complains in “Plant Thief”: just one reason for the song’s pummeling drums and bass and guitar that wrangle in stereo with staggered, constantly shifting jabs. The song starts out frenetic and builds from there, assembling and discarding dissonant patterns, switching meters and coming to a fiercely open-ended conclusion: “They never weren’t!” she sings. PARELES

Terence Blanchard, ‘Diana’

No influence looms larger over the Grammy-winning pen of Terence Blanchard — an esteemed jazz trumpeter known for his Spike Lee film scores — than the saxophonist Wayne Shorter, with his terse yet seemingly horizon-less compositions. On “Absence,” a new album paying homage to Shorter, the trumpeter visits with a few rarely covered Shorter gems. Blanchard’s version of the cloud-dwelling ballad “Diana” opens with the strings of the Turtle Island Quartet (featured throughout “Absence”), entering one by one; eventually his quintet, the E-Collective, takes over. Swaddled in synthesizers and trumpet effects, avoiding a firm tempo, Blanchard savors each unorthodox harmonic payoff, feeling no need to take a solo. RUSSONELLO

Selena Gomez and Camilo, ‘999’

In “999,” Selena Gomez vies with Camilo for who can whisper-sing more quietly. Their voices, harmonizing and dialoguing, share a duet about infatuation, distance and anticipation: “I don’t have photos with you, but I have a space on the wall.” It’s set to a skulking bass line and percussion that wouldn’t wake the neighbors, enjoying the tease, the buildup and a nearly vanished 21st-century experience: privacy. PARELES

Icewear Vezzo featuring Lil Baby, ‘Know The Difference’

For Lil Baby, it’s new day, new flow on this collaboration with the Detroit favorite Icewear Vezzo. Rapping first, Lil Baby leans in on terse bars, tightening his flow until it’s taut: “I wasn’t ’posed to make it out/I stay by the governor house/I done found another route.” When Icewear Vezzo arrives, the fog lifts ever so slightly — his subject matter is the same, but his flow dances and shimmies. CARAMANICA

​​Umu Obiligbo, ‘Zambololo’

A duo of brothers from Nigeria, Umu Obiligbo shares close harmonies over their band’s dizzying six-beat, two-chord electroacoustic groove — Nigerian highlife — with constantly evolving tandem guitars and choral harmonies teasing and extending each other. Most of the lyrics are in the Nigerian language Igbo, but the glimpses of English are sharp: “What a man can do, a woman can do it better.” PARELES

Esperanza Spalding: ‘Formwela 10’

The bassist, singer and songwriter Esperanza Spalding convened not just musicians but also experts — in neuroscience and psychology, among other fields — as she wrote the therapeutic-minded songs for her album “Songwrights Apothecary Lab,” due Sept. 24. That that didn’t impair the virtuosic playfulness of her music. “Formwela 10” is an apology for mistreating a lover: “I put you through a living hell/This is a way to make the damages clear so I won’t do another that way”; it’s also a leaping, twisting, syncopated melody, a chromatic ramble, and a meter-shifting arrangement that dissolves and realigns around her as she makes peace with her regrets. PARELES

Mary Lattimore, ‘We Wave From Our Boats’

Mary Lattimore’s music holds potent simplicity. The delicate plucks of a harp and the hum of a synth are all she employs on “We Wave from Our Boats,” a four-minute meditation with an arrangement that reflects the aquatic quality of its title: ripples of plucked strings stream over each other, like waves lapping on the shore. But there is also a kind of congenial intimacy to the song. Underneath its marine textures is the glow of closeness: maybe an after-dinner drink shared among friends, a tender embrace, a laugh that fills the belly with warmth. ISABELIA HERRERA

Nite Jewel, ‘Anymore’

There are breakup songs that express the profound heartache of a relationship’s end. And then there are songs that probe at the trickier feelings of its denouement, like Nite Jewel’s “Anymore,” from her new album, “No Sun.” Its bright synths and divine harmonies belie the song’s true content: “I can’t describe anything that I want,” sings the producer and vocalist Ramona Gonzalez. “I can’t rely on my desire anymore.” This is a song about the uncertainty and estrangement of a separation: the feeling of no longer recognizing yourself, of no longer trusting your own desires to find a way forward. HERRERA

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