151

Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: A Love Supreme

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Getting into the spirit of John Coltrane's seminal suite of reverential devotion, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra explores classic jazz from an emotional angle. They swing, and they move cohesively with a big band's full sense of itself; however, the orchestra does not succeed fully in bringing the kind of emotional feeling to the forum that Coltrane had intended. The band is more interested in pursuing its rhythmic groove and maintaining its balanced orchestration than in creating emotional impact.

Some of the best soloists in the business have taken up residence in Wynton Marsalis' high-profile orchestra. A Love Supreme features them as a cohesive ensemble and portrays them as fired-up soloists. With the tempo of the suite moving at a fast pace throughout most of the program, they're forced to turn in rapid-fire spots that omit much of the emotion that should be given higher priority.

The arrangements don't fail. Each of the suite's four movements is pumped with intellectually challenging musical scenery. Themes jump from one section to the next as they converse methodically. Each portion of the suite's arrangement is constructed so that a balance of timbres gives this musical conversation a full, well-rounded impact.

The soulful introduction to "Acknowledgement" and the gospel solemnity of "Psalm" give the LCJO its most effective showing of the program. Wynton Marsalis leads with his trumpet in a call and response affair that ignores the need for a finely tuned rhythmic groove. Moving slowly without meter, the orchestra "speaks" in prayer to a higher being. Emotions are bared and the band's soloists have plenty of room for expression.

Elsewhere, the LCJO's emphasis remains clearly on the side of technical accomplishment and maintaining a shimmering rhythmic groove. While the concert includes fine soloing from artists such as Joe Temperley, Ron Westray, Marcus Printup, Wess Anderson, Eric Lewis, Lew Soloff and Marsalis, each should have had more opportunities to express the magnitude of emotion pioneered by Coltrane's A Love Supreme.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Déjà Vu CD/LP/Track Review Déjà Vu
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts CD/LP/Track Review Woody Guthrie - The Tribute Concerts
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Two in a Box CD/LP/Track Review Two in a Box
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Discussions CD/LP/Track Review Discussions
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 20, 2017
Read Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard CD/LP/Track Review Just Friends: Live at the Village Vanguard
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 19, 2017
Read Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Vitamina D" CD/LP/Track Review Vitamina D
by Budd Kopman
Published: December 28, 2016
Read "Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959" CD/LP/Track Review Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 40 - Zurich 1959
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Visiting Texture" CD/LP/Track Review Visiting Texture
by John Sharpe
Published: June 20, 2017
Read "Double Down" CD/LP/Track Review Double Down
by James Nadal
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Ready Take One" CD/LP/Track Review Ready Take One
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "Jinja" CD/LP/Track Review Jinja
by James Nadal
Published: February 11, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.