Release date: June 3rd 2008
Availability: CD, MP3 Download, iTunes
Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano came together in 2004 as "Saxophone Summit" to pay tribute to John Coltrane's late music, made in the last two years of his life (1965 – 1967). The resulting album "Gathering of Spirits" was a critical success which showed that the innovations being pioneered by John Coltrane were accessible and could continue to enrich the language of jazz.
Michael Brecker died in early 2007 but a second album exploring this approach was made possible by the inclusion of Ravi Coltrane. The resulting album, "Seraphic Light", is dedicated to Michael Brecker.
As Dave Liebman has commented: "The original idea was to follow up where "Gathering of Spirits" left off……. The Coltrane compositions we chose for "Seraphic Light" reflect those directions… On the other hand, we wanted everyone in the group to have a compositional voice represented. So in essence we have two albums in one. The original tunes are, to my ears, quite accessible and compact in their performances, offering a needed contrast to the weightier Coltrane material.”
The John Coltrane compositions on the album are: "Expression" (from the 1967 album of the same name), "Seraphic Light" (aka "Creation") (from the 1967 album 'Interstellar Regions") and "Cosmos" (from the 1965 album "Live In Seattle").
The full musician listing is: Dave Liebman (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, C flute, wooden flute); Joe Lovano (tenor saxophone, alto clarinet, Scottish flute, aulochrome); Ravi Coltrane (tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone); Randy Brecker (trumpet); Phil Markowitz (piano); Cecil McBee (bass); Billy Hart (drums) .
Each musician contributes a composition: "The Thirteenth Floor" (Ravi Coltrane), "Alpha and Omega" (Dave Liebman), "Our Daily Bread" (Joe Lovano), "Transitions" (Phil Markowitz), "Reneda" (Billy Hart) and "All About You" (Cecil McBee). Randy Brecker, guesting on trumpet on two tracks, contributes a composition in remembrance of his brother "Message To Mike".
The music is wide ranging and inspirational with enough to satisfy those that want to stay "inside" the bop / postbop tradition while taking on the innovations signposted by John Coltrane's most challenging period.
You can get a good feel for this music by viewing Bret Primack's video on the legacy of Michael Brecker for the album:
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