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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

TOP 100 REVIEWERon 25 September 2017
Alto saxophonist Kenny Garrett(b. 1960) recorded this heartfelt tribute to John Coltrane(1926-67) during 1996 with Pat Metheny(guitar); Rodney Whitaker(bass) & Brian Blade(drums).
Garrett is on powerful form with a superb rhythm section on 11 tracks, all Coltrane compositions except 'Latifa' credited to the band, and highlights are 'Alabama' and a wonderful version of 'After The Rain'.
There have been many tribute albums to the great saxophonist and Kenny Garrett's 65-minute 'Pursuance' is one of the finest.
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on 1 August 2014
Good to have but will I listen to it regularly?
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on 25 March 2004
Kenny Garrett has always had that soulful energy in his playing which makes him the one to do a Trane tribute; with his horn he can set your speakers ablaze! On this record he acquits himself earnestly of the task, but with a smile too, which isn't a contradiction at all. The overall sound of his band is flexible and modern. This quartet and the classic Coltrane one are in the proportion of a clever, Japanese petrol engine to a droning, German diesel engine, whereby one needs not be necessarily superior to the other. Brian Blade and Rodney Whitaker are a fine tandem; the polyrhythmic bravura of the drummer is anchored by the dark wood of the bass player. Solo space is divided quite equally between Pat Metheny and Kenny Garrett.
After repeated listening the idea crossed my mind that this album appears to be a suite, rather Than a compilation of arbitrary numbers. I perceive a distinct coherence, a progress from track to track. The cycle represents a spiritual development, like entering a chapel and approaching the Holy of Holies (tracks 1-5), kneeling down (track 6) and then leaving backwards (tracks 7-11).
A duo for alto and drums, 'Countdown', makes up a light-footed prelude; the tempo is up, but the feel is relaxed.
In 'Equinox', an unmistakable Coltrane blues, Garrett builds up his solo carefully over 7 chorusses; spicey and colourful harmonies from Metheny, who takes 6 for his.
'Liberia' starts off with a 'little prayer', whereupon the band breaks out in some hard-core swinging: freely and youthfully.
'Dear Lord' is so clear and fresh, like a calm and sunny winter-morning, it could cure you from a fit of migraine!
'Lonnie's lament' is a high point among high points. It unfolds in a waving 3+3+2 metre; after a howling solo on guitarsynth, the divinely beautiful theme returns gilded with sunlight, as it were.
'After the rain' forms the centre of this so-called Coltrane suite. The music comes to a standstill, giving the listener an opportunity to breath and meditate in an atmosphere that tinkles with mystical surrender. In addition to his guitars Metheny seems to play on an egg slicer as well, terrific! Heart-rending is the way the alto climax breaks off in cirkling runs.
'Like Sonny' trips along like a tap-dancer, as if to say: the bow cannot always be stretched! Only the dancer himself knows how many hours of training it took to achieve this state of lightness.
For ever I'll remember my first acquaintance with 'A Love Supreme': a student housing twelve stairs up with headphones on. At that time the brief theme of 'Pursuance' hit me like lightning: a flesh flamed up in my brain-pan and I could feel a sweet twinge in my belly, while my eyes were brimmed with tears. Without exaggerating, it changed my life. It would be unreasonable to expect that magic effect again from Garrett and company, but this version of 'Pursuance' certainly is of great value: swinging, inspired, intelligent and well-balanced.
Maybe 'Alabama', in A-B-A-form, comes closest to a Coltrane imitation, with its pulseless Pro- and epilogue and a modal saxophone solo without chordal accompaniment in between, which does not alter the fact that it is a melancholy and sincere gem.
'Giant steps' is a challenge for all arithmeticians; fortunately the kinky 5+2+5+2+3+3+3+2 metre doesn't keep Mr Garrett from playing an extremely creative and full-blooded solo. He recorded the piece before on his Triology album and is obviously at home on the breakneck scheme.
The suite concludes with 'Latifa', that marches past like an Arabo-African procession, leaving the listener behind in a night desert with a door that grinds in a draught, sadder and wiser so to say.
With 'Pursuance' Kenny Garrett did not so much erect a mortuary monument in honour of a illustrious dead man, as a sanctuary, light and glassy, where we can meditate and study and meet friends. It's a nice place, just drop in...
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on 7 June 2012
There is nothing new I can tell about Kenny Garrett, Pat Metheny and the other musicians in this album, nor there is anything new I can write about the album itself, a lot of people, amateurs like myself or established critics have said and written it all.
I will limit myself to tell you of a small fool's errand I went on by myself while trying to write something about this album.
The urge derives primarily from Lonnie's Lament, a tune that is exactly the type of ballad, of tune that will make me cry and will make me spend weeks listening to it obsessively, trying to learn each note played by each instrument, and when I say learn don't think of me as some sort of accomplished musician, I am not a musician I know nothing about music, i just like to listen to the tune and follow every time a different instrument. And I must also admit that to me this one tune together with Equinox is the entire album, I tend to get fixated with one or two tunes and obsess about those while I neglect the rest of the album, maybe for years.
Back to the fool's errand, I was trying to find a translation for the italian word "struggent", which is the word that Lonnie's Lament evokes. To make a very long story short, I couldn't find a valid translation but I also had the opportunity to review the true meaning and origin of "struggente".
I found a funny word I didn't know, "schmaltzy", which has nothing to do with this album and eventually I think the title says it all: Lonnie's Lament. this is a lament and it's so tormented, so deep, so strong, i can't help it, my eyes will fill with tears and my mind will run to the darkest harder moments of my life, like when you have a mouth ulcer and you can't help it, your tongue will keep going back to it and touch it, causing a sharp pain. "Struggente" is something that evokes pain, that cause inner suffering, and there are tunes, works of art, poems that are like that, they will evoke a feeling of pain and yet like the tongue, we can't help it, being attracted to that pain, pain is clearly so much part of humans that some artists will fix it in a song or a poem or a painting.
like in Lonnie's lament.
It is especially Pat Metheny's guitar, with that sound ( I think this is the Roland Synth Guitar) that I call "the elephant sound", I think it is referred to as a "trumpet" sound ("Barrito" in italian) and that is interesting, because I remember reading that Pat Metheny started playing trumped but then he had to abandon it because his gum in his mouth was bleeding all the time and so he turned to guitar but he never forgot the trumpet technique and sounds and so his guitar sounds like an elephant which sounds like a trumpet..
enough with my ramblings, this is a truly beautiful album, all of it and if you want to listen to something truly amazing, something that will knock you off like a punch in your stomach, listen to Lonnie's Lament and prepare yourself for a truly emotional and cathartic experience
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on 23 November 2000
This is a great CD kenny is in great company, with him is Pat Metheny on Guitar, Rodney Whitaker on Bass & Brian Blade on Drums, if you are not familar with the Ex Miles Davis Sax player, then you are in for a treat, if you like John Coltrane then you will love this CD, stand out tracks are Alabama & After the rain, all tracks are written by John Coltrane, except the last track, which is a joint venture by all four of them, if you like great jazz music you will love this, this is kennys best so far
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on 5 August 2005
I love Kenny Garrett's playing, great use of rhythm, melody and emotion, and this must rank as the best album he has done. A stroke of genius to use Pat Metheney (I'm not usually a fan of his) instead of a pianist.
This album has no tracks you skip through, it's a masterpiece from beginning to end, having said that, don't be put off by the fiery torrent in track 1, the rest of the album is very different, melodic, soulful and powerful, the band really click and it's a pleasure and a delight to listen to this album.
I would say that if you have a few jazz albums and you want to delve into the more serious/hardcore side of jazz this is an excellent next step. Even people who aren't into jazz have asked me for the name of the album, the track Lonnie's Lament is my favourite! Full of climactic emotion. A must-have jazz album.
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