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  • Jeff Stockton wrote on September 08, 2007 report

    Eddie Gale
    Tribute to John Coltrane: Live at the San Jose Jazz Festival
    Marc Edward Publishing
    2007

    Living in New York, you can get spoiled by just how much jazz there is to hear: in clubs, in concert or even just
    in the air. If you live in a smaller town, like San Jose, Calif., for instance, the opportunities aren’t so numerous.
    This DVD, produced and directed by trumpet legend Eddie Gale along with his wife, documents the Tribute to
    John Coltrane event Gale organized by assembling an “All-Star Band” for the 2006 San Jose Jazz Festival.


    In 1974, mayor Norman Mineta officially named Gale San Jose’s Ambassador of Jazz, a position Gale
    clearly holds dear and takes seriously. Mineta provides the introduction to the DVD, before the viewer is taken
    to the airport to see saxophonist Kidd Jordan and drummer Alvin Fielder arrive from New Orleans and bassist
    William Parker and dancer Patricia Nicholson arrive from New York. The rest of the band is rounded out by
    locally-based Prince Lasha (baritone and soprano saxophone) and pianist Valerie Mih.


    Once the preliminaries are out of the way, the roughly 75-minute concert begins gently with Gale’s muted
    trumpet and Mih’s cascading piano and moves forward with sensitive, searching solos from Jordan and Lasha.
    While Trane’s spiritual side is beautifully dealt with, the horns go on to explore Trane’s expressiveness with
    intense overblowing from each of the players on hand. In addition, Nicholson dances interpretively and Ijeoma
    Thomas declaims poetry to make this concert a multi-media presentation, a feast for the eyes as well as the
    ears.