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Coltrane's A Love Supreme: Live in Amsterdam

Jim Santella By

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Branford Marsalis Quartet
Coltrane's A Love Supreme: Live in Amsterdam
Marsalis Music
2004

Branford Marsalis' extended performance of "A Love Supreme" provides his audience with 49 minutes of continuous improvisation. Memorable to all dedicated jazz listeners, John Coltrane's repeated theme occupies the quartet's focus throughout this heartfelt celebration.

Marsalis revs it up. He reaches deep inside himself to communicate with the jazz spirits. Cascading furiously and swinging hard through most of the suite, he explores the intensity that Coltrane espoused.

Pianist Joey Calderazzo moves fluidly with an intuitive sense for what swings. He and Marsalis communicate with a perfect fit, as the ensemble pours seamlessly over passionate territory.

Bassist Eric Revis provides a running foundation that keeps everyone moving. The energy from his pizzicato runs provides the quartet with emotional fuel. His extended soliloquy near the end of the performance provides a much-needed period of quiet reflection.

Drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts colors the quartet's exposition with hard-driving thunder. He applies various textures and adds considerable emotion. A lengthy drum solo appears at the performance's midway point, evoking anxious cheers from the audience. Everyone has set his emotional meter on high.

The quartet never pauses to take a breather. They honor the memory of John Coltrane with their massed output and driving intensity. At the same time, their interpretation swings with enjoyable pleasure.

Director Pierre Lamoureux has made sure that the quartet's audio and visual magic is captured in its entirety. The darkened room, the immaculate lighting, and the hidden audience take the viewer to the scene of this action. The music remains at the film's focus, however, and provides a memorable adventure.

Approximate Running Time: 70 minutes.

DVD Producers: Pierre Lamoureux, Sherry McAdams.

Audio CD Producers: Branford Marsalis, Rob "Wacko!" Hunter, Francois Lamoureux.

Track Listing: "A Love Supreme" in four movements: Acknowledgement; Resolution; Pursuance; Psalm.

Musicians: Branford Marsalis-tenor saxophone; Joey Calderazzo-piano; Eric Revis-bass; Jeff "Tain" Watts-drums.

Special Features: A 30-minute interview with Alice Coltrane; Film footage from the tour and rehearsals; Candid interviews with members of the quartet and several notable jazz saxophonists.

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