In 1996 saxophonists Dave Liebman, George Garzone, Michael Brecker, and Joshua Redman performed at the Live by the Sea festival in Japan commemorating the life and music of John Coltrane. Joe Lovano was to perform but due to prior commitments, couldn’t take part of this impromptu performance . A year later at the Red Sea Festival in Eilat, Israel, Liebman, Brecker, and Lovano performed as the Saxophone Summit. The set took on a life of its own and became a smash both here in the states and abroad. These guys have stayed true to the pure and honest form of Avant-Garde and the legacy of free-form jazz.
Their 2004 debut “Saxophone Summit: Gathering of Spirits” was a labor of love and a perfect documentation musically of how these saxophonists have and continue to communicate how John Coltrane has made an impact on this generation of musicians. Along with an impressive rhythm section featuring Billy Hart on drums, Cecil McBee on Bass, and Phil Markowitz on piano, the music thrives on both swing and powerful solos and techniques that they’ve developed and created while making a statement musically.
With the untimely death of Michael Brecker in 2007, Liebman wanted to continue and take the Summit in another direction musically. By adding saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, son of the legendary John Coltrane, he added another voice and dimension in the unit with their second disc “Seraphic Light.” Tracks like “Cosmos” and the 28 minute track “Expression” clearly pays homage to Trane.
If you think this is a group of musicians on stage battling it out, think again. Dave, Joe, and Ravi are investigating and playing the classical music of John Coltrane’s last three years of music. Bringing new light to compositions and suites like “Ascension” and “Meditations.” Also, the guys have written composition of their own which is fitting for the Saxophone Summit.
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