Thursday, July 10, 2008
Saxophone Summit pairs the three most influential tenor saxophonists of our era—Michael Brecker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano—with a rhythm section. Their previous release, Gathering Of Spirits, put new life into the “tenor battle” concept so popular during the ‘50s when a take-no-prisoners attitude was required. With the passing of Brecker, John Coltrane’s son Ravi has been added as the third. Not quite equal in stature to the other two, Coltrane has nonetheless improved remarkably during the past 10 years. The result is a much more varied collection of music than presented on the first Saxophone Summit recording. This diversity is achieved by members bringing in a range of other instrumental sounds, like alto clarinet and flute, to craft a more somber and poignant recording than one would expect. Nuance is the hallmark here, not tenor-battle ripping, and the result can be pensive at times. Seraphic Light is not for the casual listener, but it’s a daring and interesting set.