Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

20

Dave Liebman/Joe Lovano: Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
In 2007 BBC Radio commissioned saxophonist Dave Liebman to record an all-Coltrane program to mark the 40th anniversary of legendary saxophonist/composer John Coltrane's passing. Asked to bring in Saxophone Summit—the band Liebman co-led with fellow saxophonists Joe Lovano and Ravi Coltrane—Liebman managed to assemble regular members Lovano, pianist Phil Markowitz, and drummer Billy Hart, along with bassist Ron McClure as a substitute for the unavailable Cecil McBee. Ten years later, the session is being released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Coltrane's passing on July 17, 1967.

Billy Hart says that "we're all just unbelievable Coltrane fans." If the playing alone wasn't enough to show that, there's also the evidence of Liebman's album Homage To John Coltrane (Owl Records), going back to 1987. This set opens with "Locomotion," a distinctive take on the blues from Blue Train (Blue Note, 1958). The tune contains the germs of many later Coltrane works, and makes a great launching point, the classic two tenor lineup dueling with each other and egging each other on. A ballad medley showcases the two horns individually—Lovano on tenor for "Central Park West" from Coltrane's Sound (Atlantic, 1964; but recorded in 1960); Liebman on soprano for "Dear Lord" from Transition (Impulse!, 1970, but recorded in 1965). This spiritual ballad has long had a special place for Liebman, and is the only composition repeated from his early tribute album.

"Olé" from Olé Coltrane (Atlantic, 1961) represents Coltrane's long term interest in world music, which later came out in tunes like "India" and "Brazilia." After an introduction featuring wood flute and flute, the Spanish-tinged melody is introduced by tenor and soprano saxophones. "Reverend King" from Cosmic Music (Impulse!, 1968, but recorded in 1966) features Liebman on flute, accompanied by Lovano's alto clarinet: a lovely combination unique to this track. "Equinox" (also from Coltrane's Sound) is another blues, returning to the tenor/soprano combination. The album closes with "Compassion" from Meditations (Impulse!, 1966), dipping into Trane's late period. It gives Hart a solo showcase before launching into the free group improvisation with little steady pulse or set harmonic progressions that typifies late Coltrane. The band is so comfortable with this approach that they play it much like the earlier material: a bit more outside, but there is no sharp dividing line.

John Coltrane's career was so compressed that the compositions here—recorded between 1958 and 1966—represent six distinct stylistic phases. The more-or-less chronological presentation demonstrates how far he progressed in such a brief period, as well as how he maintained his own voice all the way. Coltrane's music needs no defense, but these players make an excellent case for it all the same.

Track Listing: Locomotion; Central Park West / Dear Lord; Olé; Reverend King; Equinox; Compassion.

Personnel: Dave Liebman: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, wooden recorder, C flute; Joe Lovano: tenor saxophone; aulochrome, alto clarinet, Scottish flute; Phil Markowitz: piano; Ron McClure: bass; Billy Hart: drums.

Title: Compassion: The Music Of John Coltrane | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Resonance Records


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Schlitten" CD/LP/Track Review Schlitten
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 24, 2017
Read "Road Songs For Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Road Songs For Lovers
by Doug Collette
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "Here on Earth" CD/LP/Track Review Here on Earth
by Doug Collette
Published: May 2, 2017
Read "Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four" CD/LP/Track Review B3tles: A Soulful Tribute To The Fab Four
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Floating City" CD/LP/Track Review Floating City
by James Nadal
Published: March 9, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!