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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Coleman and the Council of Balance: Synovial Joints

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Composer and saxophonist Steve Coleman grew up Chicago's AACM neighborhood before moving on to New York's big band scene in the 1970s. Diverse influences combined with his assorted academic interests in philosophy, world religion and nature, have made him a source for some of the most unique music of the past twenty years. While not immune from critical misunderstanding, the recent winner of MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships and the Doris Duke Performing Artist Award has proven himself an enduring creative ...

LIVE REVIEWS

Steve Coleman and Five Elements at SFJAZZ

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Steve Coleman and Five Elements SFJAZZ San Francisco, CA December 14, 2014 “The main thing that I consciously try to follow is things I find in nature, in universe. Basically I see the universe as sort of giant palette of forms within forms."--Steve Coleman He is a 2014 MacArthur Fellow. An alto saxophonist and bandleader who has taught at UC Berkeley. A disciple of Chicago saxophonists Von Freeman, Sonny Stitt and Bunky Green. ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Functional Arrhythmias

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Ever the thinker, saxophonist Steve Coleman now delves into the connection between human biology and music with Functional Arrhythmias, perhaps his most accessible release in recent memory. With a vast discography that has covered everything from unadulterated funk in 1988's Sine Die (Pegasus) to advanced concepts in 2011's The Mancy of Sound (Pi), his curiosity and influence continue to expand.Coleman reenlists the kinetic rhythm-section of Anthony Tidd (electric bass) and Sean Rickman (drums) who appeared on The Sonic ...

INTERVIEWS

Steve Coleman: Symbols and Language

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Saxophonist Steve Coleman's The Mancy of Sound (Pi Recordings, 2011) was one of the records of 2011. Thematically and structurally challenging on the one hand, dynamic and funky on the other, the music's contrasts reflect Coleman's view of the world, in all its complexity and simplicity. Coleman's fierce intellect carries simple logic, wrapped in many-layered waves of knowledge; so, too, the music on this recording may seem overwhelming at first, until repeated listening gradually unveils the simple truths within. For ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Coleman and Five Elements: The Mancy of Sound

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Although alto saxophonist Steve Coleman's conceptual approach to composition has grown increasingly adventurous, high-brow or esoteric, depending on your viewpoint--with lunar phases and the Yoruba of West Africa's philosophical system providing inspiration here--The Mancy of Sound merely represents Coleman's relationship to the world, which is the font of most music of worth. Retaining the same musicians from Harvesting Semblances and Affinities (Pi Recordings, 2010), Coleman's Five Elements follow-up shares its broad stylistic features, including non-western rhythms and multiple, interweaving voices, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Coleman and Five Elements: The Mancy of Sound

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A saxophonist of a different order--part griot, theorist, numerologist, and incessant seeker of knowledge-- Steve Coleman continues to forge new paths in creative music. He's influenced more of today's forward thinking artists than almost anyone in recent memory with his proven M-Base concepts. His critically acclaimed 2010 recording, Harvesting Semblances and Affinities (Pi Recordings), was a welcome return to the spotlight, and the follow-up, The Mancy of Sound , is even more rewarding. To explain Coleman's music ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Harvesting Semblances and Affinities

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Celebrated and highly influential alto saxophonist Steve Coleman reenters the progressive jazz context with his cutting-edge Five Elements band. A purveyor of M-Base processes, which are centered upon a synchronous balance between structure and improvisation, Coleman's odd-metered metrics revert to kaleidoscopic sentiment on “Clouds."Trombonist Tim Albright launches the track with warmly stated choruses, underscored by Thomas Morgan's bulging bass lines and Jen Shyu's instrumental-like vocalizations. Slightly intensified by Coleman's darting sax lines and trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson's contrasting statements, ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Harvesting Semblances and Affinities

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As the founder of the M-Base movement, alto saxophonist Steve Coleman has been at the forefront of advances in jazz composition for 25 years. Culled from traditions with roots in the diverse music of the African Diaspora, M-Base's intricate fusion of syncopated rhythms and polyphonic harmonies has provided a vivacious, forward-thinking alternative to staid conventions for over two decades.

A veteran scene leader and mentor, Coleman has aided the careers of peers like Geri Allen, Greg Osby and ...



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