Arkadia Jazz All-Stars

Thank You, John! Our Tribute to John Coltrane

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By starting a tradition of recording tribute albums to revered figures of the past -- beginning with this album dedicated to John Coltrane -- Arkadia was merely following an industry-wide trend in the 1990s. But this is a distinguished tribute, for Arkadia relies solely upon its fairly impressive roster of artists - including veterans like Benny Golson, David Liebman, Claudio Roditi and Billy Taylor, along with younger artists like Ted Rosenthal and the hip-hop band Red Time. All take on tunes that Coltrane wrote or was strongly associated with, and everyone stays pretty much within their idioms. Some typical examples include Liebman's powerful soprano solo on "My Favorite Things," the bossa nova bop stylings of Roditi's Nova Bossa Nova on "Moment's Notice," Taylor's facile Jamal-like treatment of "Naima." While the music-making is always on a high level, we don't hear much in the way of the risk-taking exploration that was at the core of Coltrane's legacy, though Red Time will shock jazz purists with their unsurprisingly reverential rap treatment of "Take the Trane."

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