Suzanne Pittson: Resolution: A Remembrance of John Coltrane
is a “concept” album whose cardinal purpose is to reshape the music of saxophonist John Coltrane, especially from his seminal work A Love Supreme,
for vocalist Suzanne Pittson and her accompanists. As one who was never a partisan of Trane’s later “spiritual” period, I find it difficult to appraise with confidence those aspects of the session. Besides two sections from A Love Supreme
(“Resolution” and “Pursuance” with lyrics added by Suzanne and husband Jeff Pittson) they include Trane’s “Liberia” and Michael Brecker’s “African Skies” (lyrics to both by Jeff Pittson). Suzanne “spontaneously” composed “Remembrance” (whatever that means) and Jeff wrote a correlative verse. She also sings four standards (“My One and Only Love,” “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes,” “I Wish I Knew,” “You Don’t Know What Love Is”) and her interpretation in each case is highly personal but largely unimpressive (and is it my imperfect ears or does she sometimes sing a hair off–key?). On the plus side, Pittson has a clear mid–range voice and scats reasonably well (“Liberia”). Also in the asset column are Pittson’s sidemen who offer unremitting support throughout (with several pleasing solos by Jeff Pittson and tenor saxophonist Alex Murzyn). I wish I could say I was inspired by Pittson’s album or the idea behind it, but such is not the case. On the other hand, that’s no more than one person’s opinion, and it’s far from conclusive. If you dig Trane and cherish his legacy, insert Pittson’s new disc in the CD player; you may be pleasantly surprised.
Track listing: Liberia; My One and Only Love; Prelude to a Resolution; Resolution; Introduction to Pursuance; Pursuance; Remembrance; The Night Has a Thousand Eyes; I Wish I Knew; African Skies; You Don’t Know What Love Is (59:28).
Suzanne Pittson, vocals; Alex Murzyn, saxophone; Jeff Pittson, piano; Glenn Richman, bass; Wally Schnalle, drums.
Contact: Vineland Records, P.O. Box 880397, San Francisco, CA 94188
Record Label: Vineland