As this article is about to post, we are four weeks away from the 50th anniversary of his passing (from liver disease). To honor his life and legacy, Resonance Records is releasing "Compassion: The Music of John Coltrane", a recording from the 40th Anniversary show that BBC3 commissioned from Dave Liebman in 2007. The producer, Robert Abel, asked the saxophonist if he could assemble the Saxophone Summit, a sextet that had been in existence (and still is) for the gig but several key members were not available including Ravi Coltrane, the Coltranes son. The quintet Liebman (tenor/soprano saxophone, wooden recorder, C flute) did assemble included Joe Lovano (tenor sax, aulochrome - a double soprano saxophone - alto clarinet, Scottish flute) plus the splendid rhythm section of Phil Markowitz (piano), Ron McClure (bass) and Billy Hart (drums).
"Compassion" is a wonderful tribute as well as a reminder of the vivid trails that John Coltrane blazed during his short but often amazing tenure in our world. This quintet, co-led by Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano, never settles for merely replaying the past but illustrates how the music has grown in time and was doing what jazz does best - moving forward on the strength on its innovators.
For more information, go to www.resonancerecords.org/release.php?cat=HCD-2030.
Long-time listeners to the music of Dave Douglas may hear a comparison to the trumpeter's "Magic Triangle"/ "Leap of Faith" quartet (with Chris Potter, James Genus, and Ben Perowsky), also a piano-less ensemble. Still, Riverside is blessed by the maturity of trumpeter/composer, the presence of master musician Steve Swallow, and the influences that the Doxas brothers bring to the music, not to forget lessons learned from listening to the music of Carla Bley. "The New National Anthem" is worth your attention (and you do not need to stand and salute, unless you want to).
Here's a track to enjoy: