CD Reviews – Steve Heckman: Legacy: A Coltrane Tribute

Grant Levin Steve Heckman Legacy

The latest CD scheduled to be released October 7, 2016 where Grant Levin participates as a sideman on piano – STEVE HACKMAN: LEGACY: A COLTRANE TRIBUTE – has already received great reviews from jazz critics. 

There’s nothing like watching superb jazz musicians fly over the chords, making their own changes, and holding on for dear life as one of them veers on a forgotten path. That happens a lot on Steve Heckman’s brilliant new album, a live tribute to the late saxophonist and composer John Coltrane, the forefather of free jazz. […]

Heckman’s on board with other superb Bay Area jazz musicians for this live recording, his fifth as a bandleader. Together with young, promising pianist Grant Levin, bassist Eric Markowitz, and drummer Smith Dobson V, Heckman (tenor and soprano sax) does Coltrane right on smooth and tricky transitions, leaving behind feel-good sensations for having listened. […]

True to his word, the songs on this new album are just that: strangely melodic, lyrical, and quite energetic, even during the slower numbers, like “Dear Lord.” There’s a flurry, as if an invisible hand continually stirs the pot, as the range of musicianship dwells lovingly on every considered note.

Pianist Levin distinguishes himself again and again as the melodic touchstone, and on “Dear Lord,” he is without peer, going from contrasting light and dark, tone and flurry, seeking gospel wisdom from all sides without abandoning the jazz aesthetic.

Heckman knows he chose his personnel wisely. “Grant has a great depth and understanding of different jazz styles. When I hear Grant play, I can almost hear the entire history of jazz piano,” Heckman said in a press release from Mouthpiece Music. […]

The Steve Heckman quartet not only keep Coltrane’s music alive, they brighten the notes, sharpen the edges, and augment the melodic for a righteous tribute album.

Carrol Banks Weber, AXS, September 1, 2016

Everything was recorded live at the Hillside Club in Berkeley, CA, on October 18, 2013, with Heckman supported by an exemplary rhythm section: pianist Grant Levin, bassist Eric Markowitzand drummer Smith Dobson V, each of whom also possesses a strong and persuasive solo voice.
Jack Bowers, All About Jazz, Aug 11, 2016

The Jazz Page includes the CD in category “Raves – the latest music we love.”

You can preorder the CD on Amazon today.