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Wynton's A Love Supreme

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by VTDB, Feb 11, 2005.

  1. VTDB


    Oct 19, 2004
    I just saw a review somewhere of the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra's release of A Love Supreme and I was interested in some different opinions about it. I haven't heard it as of yet but I think the problem I have with even the idea of doing it is that that album was such a personal project to Coltrane, his "Gift to God". I don't necessarily want this to turn into a Wynton bashing thread I was just curious to get some opinions about playing another musician work when it is so personal.
  2. I really dig Wynton and a lot. He is a true master no matter even if people bash him every now and again. Carlos Henriquez is a great bass player too. BUT on this album lacked and what I loved about Coltrane's A Love Supreme was the spontaneity and the creativeness of the in the moment. I know Trane had ideas on each tune and stuff and had spots he wanted a sound but I think that it is really lost with the whole big band thing. It sounds like it is just to structured to me. I haven't heard Branford's take on it but I heard that it was great.
  3. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I have heard this arrangement. I have mixed feelings about how "A Love Supreme" sohuld be played. On the one hand it is a piece to be played by others. On the other hand this is liturgical music from the the hands of Coltrane. I personally do not think it should be taken lightly or played without a certain degree of seriousness.

    I've always approached this work with some reverence as I would if I were performing Bach's St.John's Passion.

    To me it is not a piece you just read though or riff on. I think you have to be careful in regards to your intentions for playing the piece when you attempt it.
  4. Chrix


    Apr 9, 2004

    This may or may not get some scathing comments, but this is one of the problems with Jazz today. We call it America's Classical music, but sadly we're turning it into classical music. We're taking this music and saying that the composer is God and to change his or her vision is blasphemy. Now I'm sure that Wynton will pay all his respects in doing this and not deviate or reinterperet it funny. Hell, maybe he'll play a Louis-style solo in Resolution. But it would just be A Love Supreme like we have all heard it before.

    I personally would love to see someone take this piece and completely reinterperet it. Whether I like it or not wouldn't matter, but I'd have a lot more respect for the musician doing it than someone who just regurgitates exactly what Trane did. Jazz is supposed to be about change and reinvention. And something tells me that Trane would understand.
  5. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Try Wallace Roney -- There's No Room For Argument has a very cool and musical version combining Coltrane's Acknowledgment and Miles' Filles de Kilamanjaro with his brother Antoine slaying on tenor. How's that for outside the box? And of course, "There's no room for argument."

    Even Branford's version on Footsteps of Our Forefathers is cool. Branford (who is a bona-fide mother****er) starts playing the introduction to ALS in full Sonny Rollins mode -- great big major chord right over here baby, "I'm serious but damn glad about it."

    I haven't heard David S. Ware's version yet. Anybody?
  6. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I would love to hear Ware's version.

    I agree that much of Jazz and the techniques of jazz playing have been codified over the years and much of it is taught now just like European music. I am not advocating emotionless interpretations of music such as ALS I am just saying that one needs some historical awareness when approaching this piece.

    On the other hand classical players are steeped in "performance practice" from a young age. A trill in the Rennaisance is different in practice from a trill in the Classic Era.

    Jazz has been codifed because we have studied the music of the masters. This is not in itself a bad thing. The bad thing is when performers take for instance "Ornithology" and play it without any reference to how the work was performed at the time of its composition. I think we need to be aware of the performance practices of the era but also to remember that we are playing improvised music and to that end we must always remember to not only make it ours but do it with repsect and intelligence.
  7. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    I hear what you're saying but I think that this particular quote can easily be twisted to mean something other than what you mean. I think the bad thing is exactly when somebody performs "Ornithology" with reference to how it was performed in the 40s. There are too many players who are playing the same tunes in the same keys in the same tempos. With that in mind,

    Agreed (see above). Real respect for the innovators and the music means making our best effort to innovate and play in the moment. That is just as true for beginners as it is for masters. As Herbie Hancock said, "Risk is what moves us all forward. If you're playing in your comfort zone, that ain't jazz."

    I am not an educator and I mean no offense to the many fine, conscientious educators within earshot and elsewhere. The difficulty it that it seems that it would be much harder to teach creative exploration than to teach repertoire. Plus, most of us (me included) are not great players, composers, teachers, lawyers or whatever and that makes it even easier to fall back on measurable accomplishments in repertoire rather than immeasurable and difficult progress in spirited playing. So many people do what is natural: They take the easy road. They prep three tunes for the "jazz" "competition." They learn tunes from fake-books (and I did that for years -- I'm just another slacker too). Having not done the difficult work to engage the music as a living body, they teach history and stop before they were born.

    Pile on me now, folks.
  8. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    Check out the DVD of Branford doing the suite live in Amsterdam. Awesome.
  9. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Bingo. Bin-**********ing- go. Well put.

    I don't know if it'll be considered "piling on", but I would like to say that I think it's a hell of a lot easier to teach creative exploration than it is to teach repertoire. I've gotten into some heated exchanges with other educators from time to time about this, but the question at hand is one to which you alluded earlier: "Is the spirit of the music the actual repertoire and material improvised over it during a certain period of time that has come to be labeled "classic jazz" (or swing, bebop, cool, modal, fusion, or whatever other label you want to stick on anything that has already happened), or is the spirit of the music the drive to transform one's cultural surroundings into a personal statement of musical intention that comes to fruition not only in the moment in which it is played, but also in and because of the specific time period in which it was created?

    Put more simply, is "jazz" really swing/bebop itself, or is it the act of adopting and adapting existing musical forms and turning them into vehicles for personal improvisatory explorations? Clearly, I think the answer is the latter since it includes the former, but only as an inspirational starting point of reference. The former, on the other hand, reeks of formaldehyde. :eyebrow: