The Turtle Island String Quartet has the chops, the guts, the soul, the spirit, and the taste to take on the musical legacy of John Coltrane -- what more could anyone want? One of the great soloists, composers, and bandleaders in jazz history, Coltrane transformed the music of his time through the strength of his personality and his recordings continue to transform the music of all following times. This disc carries on that series of transformation by setting his music in the context of a traditional classical string quartet. While the players and arrangers do a more than creditable piece of work in taking on his music -- the unisons of the violins, the bow slaps of the viola, and the walking bass in the cello do a fair job of approximating a jazz quartet -- it is Coltrane's music that ultimately transforms them. When the musicians tear through the opening of Countdown, when they soar through the solo of "My Favorite Things," when they rip into the climax of A Love Supreme, it sounds like neither classical musicians playing jazz nor string musicians playing band music: it sounds like great musicians transformed by great music. Telarc's digital sound is clear and cool, but immediate.
AllMusic Review by James Leonard
|A Love Supreme, for jazz ensemble|