Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Branford Marsalis Quartet: Coltrane’s A Love Supreme: Live in Amsterdam

Branford Marsalis’ 2002 album, Footsteps of Our Fathers, which included his quartet’s recitation of John Coltrane’s four-part suite A Love Supreme, drew mostly favorable reviews, though at least one critic (ahem) found it stiff, emotionless and unnecessary. Fifteen months after recording Footsteps, however, the Branford Marsalis Quartet gave a performance of A Love Supreme at an Amsterdam concert hall that amounted to a stunning tour de force. Originally released on DVD in 2004, that concert has been reissued as a CD/DVD set to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Coltrane’s watershed recording.

The quartet-Marsalis exclusively on tenor saxophone, with pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts-is more spirited, more powerful and more expansive than on the studio recording. The suite runs significantly longer here, as the quartet stretches each movement out. The band’s trademark style, deftly navigating the narrow channel between swing and freedom, reminds us why Marsalis-Calderazzo-Revis-Watts was one of the most dangerous, exciting combos in jazz.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published