Branford Marsalis - A Love Supreme Live In Amsterdam

A Love Supreme Live In Amsterdam
November 2004
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For Marsalis Music’s second DVD release, label founder Branford Marsalis and his quartet have been captured in a complete performance of John Coltrane’s 1964 masterpiece A Love Supreme. This legendary suite, which tenor saxophonist Marsalis included on his label’s premier release, Footsteps of Our Fathers, was performed at Amsterdam’s Bimhuis during a European tour in March 2003.

“We felt that we were pretty much done with A Love Supreme when we went to Europe, but my manager wasn’t done with it,” Marsalis recalls wryly. “After hearing us perform the suite at the Bottom Line, she insisted that we had to film it so she approached Pierre about the project and he agreed.” Pierre Lamoureux, a filmmaker known for his expertise in musical subjects, directed the recent Emmy-winning PBS special “Only You in Concert” by Harry Connick, Jr. “Pierre cares about how his films sound as well as how they look,” Branford emphasizes, “and the combination of Pierre and the Bimhuis was too good to pass up.”

Branford is unsparing in his enthusiasm for the Amsterdam club, which has been a center for jazz in Europe since it opened in 1973. “I only played there once before, with Art Blakey in 1981, and I’ve wanted to bring my own band into the Bimhuis ever since,” he admits. “It’s simply one of the two or three best jazz clubs in the world, because the room is intimate and the focus is on presenting the music instead of selling food and drinks. There is a bar outside of the performance space, and people do go there to hang, but once they walk into the club itself, it’s all about the music.”


Marsalis’ acclaimed quartet - with pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts - was all about the music as well, as they delivered a performance both musically and visually riveting. As a bonus to the live performance, all four members of the quartet, together with Branford’s fellow saxophonists Michael Brecker, Ned Goold, David Sánchez and Miguel Zenón, discuss the inspiration and the challenges presented by Coltrane’s composition. In addition, Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane’s widow and the pianist in his last band, is seen in a 30-minute conversation with Branford. An audio-only disc of the Bimhuis performance is also included, and is available only in the DVD package.

A Love Supreme is considered by many to be the ultimate expression of the classic John Coltrane quartet, and remains Coltrane’s most popular album. Where Coltrane only performed the suite live on one occasion, Marsalis and band had several opportunities to play individual sections of the piece as well as A Love Supreme in its entirety before hooking up with Lamoureux for video documentation. “We definitely grew into the piece as we played it, which is why I’m so pleased that Pierre caught us when we really understood it,” Marsalis reports. “One thing about A Love Supreme, it takes tremendous concentration and focus from every member of the band. The first time we played the whole thing live, all we could do afterward was sit in the dressing room for 20 minutes, totally exhausted. You don’t see this band in that shape too often. By the time we got to the Bimhuis, though, we were up to the challenge.”

What has resulted – a scintillating live performance, plus informed musical commentary and a rare visit with Alice Coltrane – makes A Love Supreme Live in Amsterdam a must for all fans of Coltrane’s and Marsalis’ music.


Other Releases by Branford Marsalis

Four MFs Playin' Tunes
Branford Marsalis
2012

Branford Marsalis           saxophones
Joey Calderazzo             piano
Eric Revis                       bass
Justin Faulkner              drums
  

…the album is a knockout: hard nosed and hyperacute, tradition minded but modern, defined by the high-wire grace of his working band.” -Nate Chinen, New York Times
Read more »

Songs of Mirth and Melancholy
Branford Marsalis
2011

Branford Marsalis - Saxophones
Joey Calderazzo - Piano

Few contemporary pairings of saxophonist and pianist have been as inspired and productive as that of Branford Marsalis and Joey Calderazzo.  Since replacing the late Kenny Kirkland in Marsalis’ quartet in 1998, Calderazzo has blended seamlessly into the uncompromising creative atmosphere of the ensemble and revealed new facets of his own conception, while Marsalis in turn has been inspired by the pianist’s challenging instrumental support and growing strength as a composer.  The relationship grows ever deeper, as documented on the new Marsalis Music CD Songs of Mirth and Melancholy. Read more »

Metamorphosen
Branford Marsalis
2009

Branford Marsalis - Saxophones
Joey Calderazzo - Piano
Eric Revis - Bass
Jeff “Tain” Watts - Drums

Time flies when you are making great music, as Branford Marsalis will be the first to attest. “I had no idea that two years had passed since we made our last album,” says the celebrated saxophonist, composer, producer and leader of the Branford Marsalis Quartet. The realization prompted a simple charge to Quartet members Joey Calderazzo, Eric Revis and Jeff “Tain”Watts. Read more »

Braggtown
Branford Marsalis
2006

Over the course of its life - and most particularly on its previous Marsalis Music scs - the Branford Marsalis Quartet has revealed an ability to express every kind of emotion, including an informed sense of history (on the label-launching Footsteps of Our Fathers in 2002 and the 2004 DVD Coltrane’s ‘A Love Supreme’ Live in Amsterdam), a sensitivity to other artistic disciplines (Romare Bearden Revealed from 2003) and a profound sense of intimacy that stretched the concept of a “ballads album” (2004’s Eternal). Read more »

Harry and Branford: A Duo Occasion
Branford Marsalis
2005

Pianist Harry Connick, Jr. and saxophonist Branford Marsalis are old friends who regularly
surprise the music world with their eclectic tastes and ability to deliver in a variety of idioms.
When the pair got together to record Occasion from Marsalis Music’s Connick on Piano
series, the setting may have been unexpected, but the results were typically challenging and
satisfying. After the positive response that Occasion received upon its spring 2005 release,
further encounters by the pair were inevitable. One particularly memorable set, from the Read more »

Eternal
Branford Marsalis
2004

Many musicians create collections of ballads to serve as background listening in one-dimensional moods. Branford Marsalis is an uncommon musician, however and Eternal is no ordinary ballad album. The new CD, Branford’s third on his Marsalis Music label, will be released on September 14. Read more »

Romare Bearden Revealed
Branford Marsalis
2003

Branford Marsalis Quartet
Branford Marsalis  saxophones
Joey Calderazzo  piano
Eric Revis  bass
Jeff “Tain” Watts  drums

Special Guests
Harry Connick, Jrpiano
 Delfeayo Marsalis  trombone
Ellis Marsalis  piano
Jason Marsalis  drums
 Wynton Marsalis  trumpet
Reginald Veal  bass
Doug Wamble  guitar

Jazz musicians have frequently inspired and been inspired by visual artists; but the interchange has never been more direct and intense than on Romare Bearden Revealed. This disc, comprised entirely of newly recorded music, was produced by saxophonist Branford Marsalis in celebration of “The Art of Romare Bearden,” a major retrospective that opened at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. in 2003. Read more »

Footsteps of Our Fathers
Branford Marsalis
2002

Branford Marsalis has never been one to stand still. The acclaimed saxophonist forges new paths with an assurance born of lifelong dedication and keenly honed knowledge, in the company of his stunning quartet. Together they have created Footsteps of Our Fathers, a joyous homage to jazz immortals living and dead who helped shape a value system that inspires not only Branford’s playing and writing, but also his determination to ensure that true creativity will be properly documented through his new Marsalis Music label. Read more »