Turtle Island String Quartet Performs "A Love Supreme" at Stanford
They returned for an encore, Oliver Nelson's "Stolen Moments" and, while the piece was more scholarly and subdued (Summer again shining, this time with a progression of walking bass lines consistently ranging just beyond their expected paths), it didn't possess the same communal energy. The crowd remained in their seats afterward, although about a fourth of them continued to stay there for the 20-minute question-and-answer session that followed.
A few listeners I talked to afterward, who said they were string quartet fans but unfamiliar with Turtle Island, claimed the performance was too dissonant for their tastes. At the same time, I can imagine a few hardcore fans of Coltrane's edgier horn lines missing something in the timbre. Otherwise, it was like hearing a new singer doing a surprisingly skilled cover of a classic, with the alternative sound canvas stirring a spiritual feeling that captured the essence of A Love Supremeat least as convincingly as any interpretation since Coltrane's lone live performance of it in France in 1965.