Recorded back in 2007, this album is a both a tribute as well as an anthology of the breadth and depth of the legacy of John Coltrane. Dave Liebman and Joe Lovano, no strangers to Coltrane’s sound and vision, perform material from just about every “era” of the legend. Their soloing styles, while their own, are a reflection of “late period” ‘Trane, while both artist add jazz instrumentation usually not part of the Coltrane canon such as wooden recorder and C flute as in Liebman’s case, and aluochrome, alto clarinet and Scottish flute for Lovano.
The tenors lock horns like bison on the freely bluesy read of “Locomotion” as well as on a vamping groove on “Equinox” that most closely captures Coltrane at the time he recorded the piece. Various woodwinds mix and match to add to the atmosphere, with “Ole’” sounding wonderfully other-worldly. The team of Phil Markowitz/p, Ron McClure/b and Billy Hart/dr are all flexible enough to go loose or tight, and Hart opens up the seventeen minute “Compassion” with a volcanic solo that takes up a chunk of the time. Liebman’s flute work on the obscure “Reverend King” is a trip into outer space, while Lovano’s alto clarinet takes the listener into Eric Dolphy territory. Fascinating journey and a white knuckler of a ride.