With his forward-looking quintet, Ravi Coltrane explores acoustic jazz that is rich in overtones, characterized by lush harmony and centered on lyricism. Trumpeter Ralph Alessi shares the front line position alongside Coltrane; half the numbers are their originals. Favoring a Third Stream approach over swingers or fiery emotion, the quintet mellows some in both scope and intensity.
Wayne Shorter’s “Blues à la Carte” puts the ensemble in a festive samba mood as trumpet, tenor saxophone and pianist Geri Allen all step forward with exotic solo stretches. Ornette Coleman’s “The Blessing” offers the best opportunity for the unit to catch fire, but Coltrane intentionally restrains the ensemble. Leading with the skills of a master technician, he moves through seamless, fluid phrases designed to emphasize the ease with which these five artists can relate. Smooth and legato, the ensemble works in clear circles through controlled emotion. Coltrane has rounded off the corners smoothed over any rough edges to his latest project. The result is a session that captures only one aspect of jazz’s modern mainstream: that which is based on familiar harmonies and friendly timbral blends.
Track Listing: Social Drones; The Chartreuse Mean; Word Order; Blues
Personnel: Ravi Coltrane- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Ralph Alessi- trumpet, flugelhorn; Geri Allen- piano; James Genus- bass; Eric Harland- drums; Andy Milne- piano on
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.