[JPL] Taking Coltrane’s Music and Making It Their Own

David Kunian dkunian at bellsouth.net
Mon Sep 18 17:58:59 EDT 2006


Can't wait for J at LC to tackle Meditations and Ascension. 

Oops.  Wrong universe.

r durfee wrote:

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>September 16, 2006
>Music Review
>Taking Coltrane’s Music and Making It Their Own 
>By NATE CHINEN
>Jazz at Lincoln Center began its new season on
>Thursday with the first of three nights devoted to the
>music of John Coltrane. The occasion doubled as an
>early celebration of what would have been Coltrane’s
>80th birthday (Sept. 23) — cake was served during
>intermission — and an opening salvo for the
>organization’s third year of programming in Frederick
>P. Rose Hall at Columbus Circle. It was a success on
>both counts.
>
>Wynton Marsalis played host, and horn, in “Coltrane,”
>a concert at the Rose Theater featuring his Jazz at
>Lincoln Center Orchestra. (“Coltrane and Hartman,”
>with the saxophonist Todd Williams and the singer
>Kevin Mahogany, was scheduled for last night and
>tonight in the Allen Room.) The program featured a
>dozen of Coltrane’s compositions, mostly in
>arrangements for the full orchestra.
>
>Some were conventional enlargements: essentially
>vehicles for improvisation. The saxophone interludes
>and brass accents on “Giant Steps,” for instance, were
>less interesting than the brisk solo fashioned by its
>arranger, Mr. Marsalis. “Big Nick,” in a big-band
>chart by Richard DeRosa, mainly served as a bluesy
>showcase for the saxophonist Sherman Irby. “Like
>Sonny,” as arranged by Vincent Gardner, was a
>screeching thrill ride; still, its most memorable
>feature was a passage featuring some excellent
>choruses by Erica vonKleist on flute.
>
>The promise of an orchestral interrogation of
>Coltrane’s themes was fulfilled in several other
>arrangements, which took liberties with dynamics and
>timbre. The melody of “Naima,” in an arrangement by
>Victor Goines, was harmonized for five bass clarinets;
>the bridge fell to a single muted trombone. Ted Nash
>imbued “Grand Central” with some intricate
>cross-voicings, while his arrangement of “My Favorite
>Things,” the Rodgers and Hammerstein bonbon that
>Coltrane turned epic, assigned the melody in unison to
>five soprano saxophones. 
>
>Mr. Marsalis’s version of “Alabama” was another
>highlight, both gorgeous and unsettling. The baritone
>saxophonist Joe Temperley played its haunting line
>with quiet intensity over an eerie trill of brass and
>reeds. Mr. Marsalis prefaced the piece with some
>background: it was Coltrane’s response to the bombing
>of a Baptist church in Birmingham that killed four
>girls. So the weight of the piece was lost on no one.
>
>Two things were missing from the concert. One was any
>reference to Coltrane’s squalling late period, which
>Jazz at Lincoln Center will acknowledge on Wednesday
>with a discussion called “Did Coltrane Lose His Way?”
>(The panelists, including Coltrane’s drummer from
>those years, Rashied Ali, seem predisposed to dismiss
>that question.) 
>
>More conspicuously absent was the immersive thrust of
>Coltrane’s rhythm section, which could make a vamp
>feel like a voyage. The pianist Dan Nimmer sounded
>unconvinced about the hammering modal style of McCoy
>Tyner, his counterpart in the Coltrane quartet. Dennis
>Irwin, a veteran bassist, and Ali Jackson, the
>orchestra’s drummer, threw themselves into the music,
>but they had few opportunities to lift it off the
>ground. 
>
>One came in the concert’s final moments, during a solo
>on “Africa” that had Walter Blanding straining and
>surging on tenor saxophone, while Mr. Jackson thrashed
>powerfully beneath him. It was the only moment in the
>evening that summoned the sound of Coltrane more than
>the idea. But that’s partly why the concert worked so
>well: it played to the orchestra’s strengths, and
>bypassed mimicry to signal a deeper respect. 
>
>The Coltrane Festival repeats tonight at Frederick P.
>Rose Hall,60th Street and Broadway; (212) 721-6500
>orjalc.org.
>
>http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/16/arts/music/16tran.html?ref=music
>
>
>
>Roy Durfee
>P.O. Box 40219
>Albuquerque, New Mexico 87196-0219
>rdurfee2003 at yahoo.com
>
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>This week's sponsor:  Russ Kassoff - ''SOMEWHERE'' (2006) - RHK JAZZ 
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