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A Love Supreme - The Legacy of John Coltrane

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Album Review

With the master's 80th birthday in mind, the Turtle Islanders pay their respects to the repertoire of the mighty Trane, adding their own custom-built tribute, "Model Train" — which has a modal structure much like that of "Impressions" — and a pair of numbers associated with John McLaughlin. As the album's centerpiece, "A Love Supreme" — all four movements of it — carries the biggest burden of expectations, and the TISQ tries to steer clear of direct comparisons, taking off on their own flights and structures after refreshing the memory with Coltrane's themes. The way the TISQ sees it, "Acknowledgment" sounds a lot like a meandering Terry Riley string quartet, while "Resolution" is more-or-less straight-ahead, and "Pursuance" briefly pursues the history of jazz violin. Only "Psalm" takes Coltrane on directly, gallantly, but with barely a fraction of their hero's spiritual fervor. Elsewhere, "Countdown" transfers the essence of Coltrane's actual solo to the violin, a virtuosic feat that Evan Price nails with apparent ease. Of all the tunes here, "Naima" would seem to be the best fit for a string quartet — they had already recorded it before on their Metropolis album — and so it is again in 2006. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi

A Love Supreme - The Legacy of John Coltrane, Turtle Island Quartet
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