Honoring the tradition suggesting that the exploration of the musical universe can act as a tool for the understanding of a wider cosmic truth, the 34-year-old Norwegian saxophonist Jørgen Mathisen and his quartet deepen in the last period of John Coltrane’s music with absolute success, in a way that it is very difficult for a listener to comprehend that it’s a modern group with new compositions playing and not the Myste “Ohnedaruth” himself, in one of his “lost” recordings.
Everything here works perfectly: the incomparable tenor or soprano saxophone sound coming with a heavy use of skillfully played high harmonics; the themes and the phraseology that vitalize and recreate the ubiquitous historical material; that inspiring, accurate spiritual feeling; the astral names of the tunes, that motivate us to imagine the music notes as celestial objects and the musical phrases as an outline of their interdependent orbits
As the Cleen Feed Rec. press release makes a reference to the influence of Sun Ra Orchestra, let’s remember here the rumor saying that John Coltrane himself had also been initiated to that mood by Sun Ra, the visionary pioneer.
Almost all saxophonists, at some point in their career, study and try to replicate John Coltrane’s music, but very few manage to reach that level of integrity. Jørgen Mathisen, coming from the school of free jazz, without much fuss, is definitely one of them. Well done!