After two recordings for Telarc--2004's Gathering of Spirits, with the late Michael Brecker, and 2008's Seraphic Light, with Ravi Coltrane assuming the position vacated by Brecker following his untimely passing the previous year--Saxophone Summit is back with Visitation. Funded by the (for jazz) early crowd-funding ArtistShare imprint, it demonstrates the difference between recording for a relatively major label and one where the group can, it seems, call all the shots. Not that the previous recordings were in any way artistic compromises--Seraphic Light was already a more experimental recording than the slightly more centrist Gathering of Spirits--but the differences ...read more
Saxophone SummitJazz Standard, Impulse! Nights--Africa/BrassNew York, NYApril 20, 2011 For Dave Liebman, it was the orange spines. For others, it was the laminated, emblematic covers with gatefolds. For everyone, Impulse! was the record label that best committed to vinyl the golden age of jazz: a fertile crescent between the late '50s and early '70s that simultaneously showcased all the branches of the jazz evolutionary tree, from Satchmo to Duke to Coltrane. To commemorate the 50 years since the birth of Impulse!, the Jazz Standard hosted a five-night run of album celebrations kicked off, fittingly, ...read more
When three prominent saxophone players come together to honor one of their highly regarded brethren, and include compositions by one of the most revered instrumentalists ever, the listener is in for a treat. So it is with Seraphic Light by Saxophone Summit, led by the trio of Ravi Coltrane, Joe Lovano and Dave Liebman. Saxophone Summit began in the 1990s with Lovano, Liebman and the late Michael Brecker--three contemporary instrumentalists who revisit the exploratory style of John Coltrane. Their first album, Gathering of Spirits (Telarc, 2004), received many accolades. However, the death of Brecker in early 2007 ...read more
Formed in the mid-1990s by three of jazz's leading post-Coltrane exponents--not just to pay homage to the saxophone legend's exploratory latter period work, but to advance his collaborative and collective soloing aesthetic into a fully contemporary context nearly thirty years after his death--Saxophone Summit was dealt a tremendous blow, as was the entire jazz world, when co-founding member Michael Brecker passed away in 2007.
Still, Saxophone Summit's remaining front-liners, Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano, decided that continuing on with pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart would better honor Brecker than throwing in the towel. Recruiting Coltrane's ...read more
The spirit of John Coltrane looms heavy over the proceedings of Saxophone Summit: Gathering of Spirits , where saxophonists Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano commit to disc the occasional grouping that they have participated in since '96. The result is something a little surprising in this era of super groups": a trio whose collective whole is clearly greater than the sum of the parts, representing an uncompromising ensemble that gets more exciting and adventurous as the one hour set progresses. Making it easy to differentiate the players by placing them in specific aural positions--Lovano on the ...read more