This coming Monday, February 2nd, Jez Nelson’s longstanding BBC Jazz On 3 show will broadcast the whole of the evening performance at Meltdown of Enlightenment – In the Spirit Of ‘A Love Supreme’.
It was the mid summer’s day and the final day of James Lavelle’s Meltdown at the Southbank Centre. While the Enlightenment Ensemble played a matinee performance in the QEH to a sold out and at times ecstatic audience there was a rave going on by the river. As the ensemble played a follow up sold out second house in the evening Detroit techno originator and don, Jeff Mills, was playing the RFH. It seemed fitting that this homage to John Coltrane’s’A Love Supreme’ had found a home, not in the jazz festival, but alongside a diverse array of artists that included Metalheadz, UNKLE, Jeff Mills, Josh Homme, Melanie De Biasio et al.
Listening back to a bootleg recording of the matinee set I was bowled over at how powerful the two middle sections were… there’s a genuine raw power at work – and while that was carried over into the evening it’s apparent, especially in the final part of the suite – ‘In Devotion’ – which is built around John Coltrane’ devotional poem, that it was altogether tighter.
‘Enlightenment’ is a work in progress. The Meltdown performance were very different from the initial performances in The Chapel at Kings College and the subsequent, magical, session at the Union Chapel on December 9th, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the recording of ‘A Love Supreme’, was different again. It’s the nature of this music. It’s the spirit of freedom implicit in the concept… ‘A Love Supreme’.
Tune in and check it out…. BBC Radio 3 Monday 2 Feb 2015 23:00
Here’s the Enlightenment Ensemble line up from Meltdown:
Rowland Sutherland – arranger, flutes
Orphy Robinson – musical director, xylosynth
Steve Williamson – tenor saxophone
Shabaka Hutchings – bass clarinet
Juwon Ogungbe – voice
Cleveland Watkiss – voice
Tunde Jegede – kora
Pat Thomas – keyboards
Nikki Yeoh – piano
Ansuman Biswas – tablas, santoor, waterphone
Adé Egun Crispin Robinson – bata drums
Dave Pattman – bata drums
Oli Nevill – bata drums
Neil Charles – bass
Mark Mondesir – drums
ALSO … big shout out to Jez Nelson for having the vision to broadcast ‘Enlightenment’ and to James Lavelle and Jane Beese for inviting us to perform at Meltdown