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 it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.