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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 grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...