Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Branford Marsalis Quartet Coltrane's A Love Supreme Live in Amsterdam|
Actor: Branford Marsalis Quartet
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
A magnificent performance of Trane's masterpiece
Ron Cronovich | Kenosha, WI | 01/01/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Branford Marsalis' new recording of Coltrane's masterpiece, A Love Supreme, is superb on many levels. If you're a fan of Trane, and even just luke-warm on Branford, I'm confident you'll find this to be a very worthwhile purchase.
Competent but lesser musicians playing ALS would try to channel Trane and the classic quartet. Not Branford. He is a mature artist with a fully-realized style. He sometimes lovingly quotes Trane, or puts his own spin on a Trane riff, but he is clearly his own man on this recording of A Love Supreme.
Jeff Tain Watts understands the essence of Elvin and Elvin's contribution to ALS. But, like Branford, Tain is his own man here. He's great as a sideman, and plays a great solo at the end of Resolution.
Joey Calderazzo - an outstanding pianist who has done excellent and original work with many of today's top jazz artists - falls into McCoy mode in his first solo, but then plays like himself in his second one. Both are great solos, but I think it shows a real maturity and confidence to be yourself rather than emulate the masters when playing their great works.
The bassist, Eric Revis, is very good, but I'm partial to Robert Hurst's performance on Branford's earlier recording of ALS.
It's worth comparing that earlier performance to the new one. Branford first recorded ALS ten years ago for a CD compilation called "Stolen Moments: Red, Hot & Blue". That version is much shorter - only about 25 minutes, compared to the full-length version on the new DVD/CD combo. On the older version, Branford's quartet went into the studio, didn't rehearse much (they were all fine musicians and all knew ALS), and started the tape rolling. It is a wonderful performance, and well-worth having in your collection. But it sounds like they are not trying to record anything original, just to have a fun time playing Trane's music. (Be warned, though, that most of that CD contains acid jazz & hip hop.)
In contrast, the new recording does have a bit more of Branford's personality and interpretation. For example, the chord changes in Acknowledgement are clearly different than on Trane's original recording - not so different to be annoying or trite - but different enough to let you know that Branford has something new to say. Plus, in the 10 years since the earlier recording, Branford has grown from a very good but young musician to a true master in his own right, and this is evident on the new recording.
The sound & picture quality are PHENOMENAL. I have about a dozen concert DVDs covering various genres. This is easily the best sounding & looking of them all. My TV/DVD player is plugged into a mere bookshelf stereo (albeit a good one), and the sound was SUPERB. Then, I took the DVD over to a friend's house who has Dolby 5.1 home theater sound, and my God, I thought I was in the club with the musicians! The picture quality matches the sound quality. I viewed this DVD on a high-definition wide screen TV, and it was really quite thrilling.
The DVD includes a bunch of interviews. First is a 30-minute interview between Branford and Alice Coltrane. She talks a lot about Trane, his music, his relentless pursuit of perfection, some reminiscing about when he wrote ALS, and she and Branford have interesting exchanges about the nature of jazz and other topics. Then there are a bunch of shorter interviews on various aspects of ALS, including some with Michael Brecker. I think the interviews are insightful and add value to an already great disc.
Finally, there's a brief segment called "Branford Casual" that shows Branford walking around town, working out at the gym, practicing some classical music on the soprano, rehearsing with his quartet, and misc backstage tour footage. Neat, but not essential.
Amazingly, you get all this for the price of a CD. And the package includes an audio CD of the concert performance as a bonus!
Simply put: stellar
T. Klaase | Orange Park, Florida United States | 11/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'd have trouble articulating this performance so I'll just say: Wow! My girl friend and I just watched the entire thing in utter silence and joy. Neither of us spoke until it was over. Emotionally moving, exciting, intelligent... Maybe THE best jazz DVD I've ever witnessed. The camera angles are great and go with the composition - instead of being a distraction - as on some other videos... Highly, highly recommended.
A DVD Supreme!
M. Franzman | New Haven, CT USA | 11/19/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I too just finished watching the entire dvd in one sitting. Remarkable. I kept thinking througout the performance, how blessed we are in this age to be able to see musicians of this caliber, performing a piece of this magnitude, in a venue of this quality, captured with such visual clarity and sonic envelopment--from the music to the musicians to the technology it is all top-notch----at last, there is no weak link! Really, this has never before been possible in the history of man, and it is nothing to take lightly. (I couldn't think of a way to improve upon the experience other than to have some people smoke cigarettes near you and spill some alcohol on your rug.)
I have seen old clips of John Coltrane's quartet from the 50's Ralph Gleason show "Jazz Casual" but it is black & white, with low sound and picture quality. It is a document, nothing more.
I have seen clips of Miles Davis's Quartet performing "So What" off of Kind Of Blue, but again, it is archival quality, found on documentaries, and usually some narrator talks over the piece----and it isn't complete in any case.
Tonight I popped in a shiny new disc of the [b]Branford Marsalis Quartet[/b] performing John Coltrane's [i]"A Love Supreme", [/i] and it looked and sounded like I was in the club!
At the beginning of track two, Pursuance, I turned it up for the bass-solo introduction.... it built and built in intensity, and when the rest of the band came roaring in, the room filled with crystal clear sound, and I knew I was experiencing a rare moment in jazz history----heck, in music history. That moment alone was worth the price of the dvd for me, especially when you consider tickets to a jazz club at $30 each and a drink minimum, you're looking at $75 easy.
The dvd also features interviews with the band, discussing their approach to the music, and an interview with Alice Coltrane.
My habit of late, is to burn a cd copy of my favorite live jazz dvd's to listen on my computer while working, or in the car. Branford thought of this, as a cd of the show is already in the package as disc two! Nice...
I would not hesitate to recommend this dvd to any jazz lover, music lover, musician, or artist. Get this, dim the lights, sit back with a drink, and enjoy!
Energy, enthusiasm, and respect gel in this superb performan
jazzster_100 | 11/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was really unsure about if the idea behind this DVD would work. How could you take a masterpiece like A Love Supreme and interpret it? Or should this even be done? An incredibly presumptious undertaking,was my thinking. There aren't even many versions of Naima I care to hear, outside of those performed by Coltrane himself or McCoy Tyner.
However, this is a beautiful performance and it does work. The cohesiveness and energy of the group is undeniable. The music simply oozes respect and homage for Coltrane and his timeless work.
If you appreciate modal jazz, you cannot dislike this performance.
If you think jazz is a spiritual art form, you will not be disappointed.
Branford playing is fairly well documented, but a special treat is the fantastic playing of Joey Calderazzo. And the incredible playing of Tain Watts who is always right there and pushing ahead.
This is one that will get several repeated listenings. Enjoy."