CD Saxophone Summit: Seraphic Light (CD 1321590),
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Saxophone Summit: Seraphic Light
2. Thirteenth Floor, The
4. All About You
5. Message to Mike
6. Alpha and Omega
7. Our Daily Bread
9. Seraphic Light
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 83673
Dave Love; Elaine Martone
Jim Yates; Robert Friedrich
Saxophone Summit: David Liebman (flute, wooden flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Joe Lovano (alto clarinet, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone); Ravi Coltrane (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone).
Personnel: Randy Brecker (trumpet).
Liner Note Authors: Joe Lovano; Ravi Coltrane; Ashley Kahn.
Recording information: Clinton Recording Studio A, New York, NY (10/04/2007-10/06/2007).
Editor: Robert Friedrich.
Photographers: Darryl Pitt; R. Andrew Lepley.
Arrangers: David Liebman; Joe Lovano; Phil Markowitz; Randy Brecker; Ravi Coltrane; Cecil McBee.
There's a bittersweet back story to this second Saxophone Summit recording, but the music never lets on. The first outing, 2004's Gathering of Spirits, recorded seven years after their first gigs together, featured Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman, and Michael Brecker, nothing less than three of the most innovative saxmen of the modern era. Since then, Brecker has passed away, leaving a gigantic gap in the jazz world. Rather than retire the occasional project, Lovano and Liebman smartly recruited tenorist Ravi Coltrane, son of John and Alice Coltrane (who passed away the same week as Brecker), to fill out the trio for this release. Ravi Coltrane is neither John Coltrane nor Michael Brecker, although to his credit, in his decade-plus on the scene, he's never tried to be anyone other than himself, and accordingly he's been hailed as one of the more promising newcomers. And to their credit, the three musicians neither worship John Coltrane's legacy here (they initially formed to honor him), nor do they avoid it. On listening to Seraphic Light, naturally the first question is how Ravi Coltrane holds his own alongside Liebman and Lovano. The answer is, quite well. While the music undeniably has a different vibe to it than it did with Brecker, that's what makes it such a worthy successor: it builds on what came before, with no attempt to replicate it. Instead, it pays tribute to Brecker ("Message to Mike," written and arranged by his brother Randy Brecker) and to both John and Alice Coltrane (the final three tracks on the album come from John's later period, on two of which Alice played piano), while at the same time finding space for diverse originals by Liebman, Lovano, and Ravi Coltrane and one from each member of their support cast: bassist Cecil McBee, pianist Phil Markowitz, drummer Billy Hart, and Randy Brecker, who plays trumpet on two tracks. Liebman astutely points out that Seraphic Light almost seems like two different albums: the Coltrane material is decidedly more "out" than the originals, which are considerably more mainstream. But it's those differences in approach that ultimately hold the recording together, and ultimately, it pays tribute to the Coltrane way of music-making in its unbending refusal to stay put or rest easy. ~ Jeff Tamarkin
Down Beat (p.82) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "On 'Cosmos' and 'Expression,' Lovano reaches from deep within to channel Coltrane's spirit. Liebman, Lovano and Coltrane feed off each other's creativity."
JazzTimes (p.85) - "SERAPHIC LIGHT bristles with moments of cathartic intensity and joyous abandon....This time out, every member of the group contributes a composition."
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Telarc Distribution CD 83673
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