04/15/11 By Bret Primack
Phil Markowitz, Joe Lovano and the Saxophone Summit: Coltrane's Meditations Suite
The Jazz Video Guy shares his video of the group performing with Manhattan School of Music Orchestra
The Saxophone Summit, now featuring David Liebman, Joe Lovano and Ravi Coltrane (Ravi replaced original member Michael Brecker), played a concert in 2007 that included an extended version of John Coltrane's “Meditations Suite,” featuring the group with the Manhattan School of Music Jazz Orchestra, conducted by Justin DiCioccio.
Mr. Liebman wrote that "on the anniversaries of Coltrane’s recording of this seminal piece (November, 1965) I like to find a way to perform it somewhere in the world...saxophonist Gunnar Mossblad, who has collaborated with me on many works over the decades, wrote an arrangement of the suite for the studio orchestra at Manhattan School of Music. Studio orchestra means a full symphonic orchestra with the addition of a jazz rhythm and saxophone section, so you get the best of both, This was a spectacular arrangement conducted by Justin DiCioccio with 85 musicians...The power of Gunnar’s arrangement was incredible and Justin really got these mostly straight-laced young classical players to loosen up a bit for some great moments of group free improvisation. And it is the free improv alongside the beautiful melodies from the suite that gives the music its special yin-yang character."
I documented the 2007 concert on video, including this excerpt that features pianist Phil Markowitz and Joe Lovano.