Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Michelle Coltrane: Awakening

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Yes, that Coltrane. Vocalist Michelle Coltrane, the offspring of pianist Alice McLeod (and vocalist Kenny Hagood) and the stepdaughter of saxophone icon John Coltrane, has one of the strongest musical pedigrees around. She was, quite literally, born and raised into musical legend. But her background and lineage hasn't put undue pressure on her development or musical choices. For the past two decades she's followed her own path, putting family before artistic advancement and putting her singing career on pause. Now, with a little more time for herself, Coltrane's musical awakening has come with the arrival of her second album.

With drummer-percussionist Gerry Gibbs and guitarist Shea Welsh serving as her primary guiding hands, Coltrane delivers eleven numbers that artfully meld jazz, pop, adult contemporary, and R&B strains. There are notable ties to her famous family—covers of "My Favorite Things" and "Moment's Notice," the appearance of a soprano-wielding Ravi Coltrane on a pair of originals, the voice of her late mother at the outset of "Out Of The Shadows"—but they prove only tangential, not characteristic in nature. Michelle Coltrane stands on her own two feet throughout.

A few twists on the familiar prove to be the high points on this playlist. Gibbs' album-opening arrangement of "My Favorite Things" takes on bright harmonic hues and shakes the dust off, Paul McDonald's re-write of "All The Things You Are" is slinky and sophisticated, and the Foreigner-associated, Coltrane/Welsh-arranged "I Want To Know What Love Is" loses its dated and kitsch qualities, taking on a mystically attractive vibe. In those instances and elsewhere, Coltrane receives expert support. With a personnel list that includes heavyweights like bassist Lonnie Plaxico and up-and-comer pianist Cameron Graves, along with her aforementioned collaborators and other first-rate artists, the music is always up to snuff.

There are spots in this program that may be a tad too smooth or sedate for a good portion of the jazz set—"Baby Blue," the strings-enhanced "Love & Spring," the pacifying "Out Of The Shadows"—but they take nothing away from Michelle Coltrane's position as a singer. Her vocal skills are beyond dispute and her vision is clear and intact across Awakening.

Track Listing: My Favorite Things; Cove Island; Moment's Notice; Wouldn't It Be Nice; Tin Man; Baby Blue; All The Things You Are; I Want To Know What Love Is; Same Ole Love; Love & Spring; Out Of The Shadows.

Personnel: Michelle Coltrane: vocals; Lonnie Plaxico: bass (1, 3, 6, 9); Alex Collins: piano, Fender Rhodes, vocals (1, 3, 6, 9); Gerry Gibbs: drums, conga drums, vibraphone, golckenspiel, keyboards, tambourine, vocals (1, 3, 6, 9); Ravi Coltrane: soprano saxophone (2, 11); Shea Welsh: guitar, MIDI Keyboard, vocals (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11); Abe Lagrimas, Jr.: drums (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 11); Edwin Livingston: bass (2, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 11); Ramon Yslas: percussion (2, 4, 8, 11); Cameron Graves: piano, keyboards (2, 4, 7, 8); Ron Jerome Avant: piano, keyboard (5, 11); Alice Coltrane: spoken word (11); Miguel Atwood-Ferguson: strings (10); Mahesh Balasooriya: piano (7); Andrew Kellar: vocals (11).

Title: Awakening | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Blujazz Productions

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Awakening

Awakening

Blujazz Productions
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read I Always Knew CD/LP/Track Review
I Always Knew
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 12, 2018
Read It's Alright To Dream featuring JD Allen CD/LP/Track Review
It's Alright To Dream featuring JD Allen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 12, 2018
Read Volume One CD/LP/Track Review
Volume One
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 12, 2018
Read Songs in the Key of Wonder CD/LP/Track Review
Songs in the Key of Wonder
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2018
Read SHIFTED CD/LP/Track Review
SHIFTED
by James Fleming
Published: December 12, 2018
Read Vilddjur CD/LP/Track Review
Vilddjur
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2018
Read "The Sound Of The Earth" CD/LP/Track Review The Sound Of The Earth
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2018
Read "The Subject Tonight Is Love" CD/LP/Track Review The Subject Tonight Is Love
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 26, 2018
Read "Brothers" CD/LP/Track Review Brothers
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 24, 2018
Read "First Things First" CD/LP/Track Review First Things First
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 4, 2018
Read "Six Encomiums for Cecil Taylor" CD/LP/Track Review Six Encomiums for Cecil Taylor
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Opus" CD/LP/Track Review Opus
by Doug Collette
Published: March 29, 2018