76

The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: A Love Supreme

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra: A Love Supreme I have to start this review with a confession. I've never heard John Coltrane's original recording of A Love Supreme. Sorry; Trane and I parted ways after some of his earlier successes ( Blue Train, Settin' the Pace, Giant Steps, My Favorite Things ), so I must appraise the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra's re-creation of the saxophonist's "monumental work" strictly on its own merits.

As big band jazz goes, this is pretty good, thematically engaging and musically rewarding, even though, as is often the case with the LCJO, Wynton Marsalis' charts owe as much to Duke Ellington's influence as they do Trane's vision. The suite, which is what I suppose one would call it, is comprised of four movements, with a slow introduction and finale encircling its warm-blooded nucleus. The placid "Acknowledgement," near-classical in concept, embodies a number of Ellington-like rhythmic and harmonic techniques, bolstering extended solos by trombone, tenor sax and trumpet and briefer exchanges among several other instruments including clarinet and baritone sax, leading to a vocal chant and peaceful denouement by unaccompanied bass.

Bassist Carlos Henriquez then introduces the second movement, "Resolution," which sets a faster pace, again with a Ducal ambiance pervading its ensemble passages, and ample blowing space for alto sax and piano. The ensemble has the last three and one-half minutes to itself, showing its backbone with precise and powerful give-and-take among the various sections. "Pursuance," the most contemporary of the four movements, opens with Herlin Riley's drum solo and a strapping statement by the ensemble, leading to a brace of spirited solos, most likely by Marsalis (trumpet) and Ted Nash (soprano), and further orchestral fireworks that once more end on a quiet note. The closing "Psalm" is an oasis of earnest supplication in which various members of the orchestra lift their "voices" in a dirge-like hymn to the Almighty, expressing in their own idiom the essence of A Love Supreme.

As noted, I can't compare this with Coltrane's forty-year-old masterpiece, written for and performed by his quartet, but I quite enjoyed the LCJO's expanded version and would recommend it based solely on that unschooled impression (those who worship Coltrane's prototype are free to disagree).

Track Listing: Acknowledgement; Resolution; Pursuance; Psalm (41:46).

Personnel: Wynton, Marsalis, trumpet, arranger; Lew Soloff, Marcus Printup, Ryan Kisor, trumpet; Wess "Warmdaddy" Anderson, Ted Nash, Walter Blanding, Victor Goines, Joe Temperley, reeds; Ronald Westray, Vincent Gardner, Andre Hayward, trombone; Eric Lewis, piano; Carlos Henriquez, bass; Herlin Riley, drums.

Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Palmetto Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Groove Dreams CD/LP/Track Review Groove Dreams
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Kami Fusen CD/LP/Track Review Kami Fusen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Two CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand CD/LP/Track Review Galaxies Like Grains Of Sand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 23, 2017
Read Nightfall CD/LP/Track Review Nightfall
by John Kelman
Published: May 22, 2017
Read Pekka CD/LP/Track Review Pekka
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 22, 2017
Read "Mind Behind Closed Eyes" CD/LP/Track Review Mind Behind Closed Eyes
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "(Five) Stories Untold" CD/LP/Track Review (Five) Stories Untold
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 6, 2017
Read "Like Songs Like Moons" CD/LP/Track Review Like Songs Like Moons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 13, 2017
Read "Mediterrana" CD/LP/Track Review Mediterrana
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Times and Tides" CD/LP/Track Review Times and Tides
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Live at 5e" CD/LP/Track Review Live at 5e
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 13, 2016
comments powered by Disqus

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!