192

Ravi Coltrane: In Flux

By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane continues his maturation as a composer and leader on In Flux, his fourth at the helm, offering a compelling straight-ahead set. It's the first document of his quartet with pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer E.J. Strickland, with whom he has gigged for the last few years, fostering a group identity and sound. Symbiosis results, as the interplay of the musicians buoys the compositions, while the tunes and arrangements spotlight the strengths of the performers. The group chemistry is bolstered by the original compositions contributed by each musician and the inclusion of two freely improvised pieces.

The short piano-tenor sax duet "The Message" displays Coltrane's emotive, lyrical side to open the recording. This side resurfaces on Gress' mournful tune "Away," where the sparse drums and subtle piano chords and bass movement frame the keening horn and on "Dear Alice," a heartfelt paean to his mother, featuring swirling tenor lines around the wavelike motion of the rhythm section. These pieces exemplify the group's patience; tunes unfold episodically. Throughout, Coltrane avoids skronk and atonality.

But In Flux is not all slow-tempo ballads. Coltrane dons the soprano on "Coincide," slinking around the ensemble as it builds intensity, including a fierce bombast by Strickland filling over the changes. His tune "Angular Realms" features askew movement, especially the piano accents in the head and provides an engaging platform for Coltrane and Perdomo's solos. The pianist's contribution, "Scram Vamp," injects energy, with Gress and Strickland latching onto the groove for Coltrane to soar. Fiery bursts dominate the improvisatory pieces "Variations I and III" and show the musicians' collective empathy.

Although Coltrane is the leader, his band approach to the recording translates into enthusiastic performances and fleshed-out ideas, bringing him to a plateau on his musical path.

Track Listing: The Message; Coincide; Variations III; Away; Blending Times; Leaving Avignon; Dear Alice; Angular Realms; Scram Vamp; Variations I; United; For Zoe.

Personnel: Ravi Coltrane - Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone; Luis Perdomo - Piano; Drew Gress - Bass; E.J. Strickland - Drums.

Title: In Flux | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Savoy Jazz


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Back Before Bach: Musical Journeys" CD/LP/Track Review Back Before Bach: Musical Journeys
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 31, 2017
Read "The Book of Transfigurations" CD/LP/Track Review The Book of Transfigurations
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Leon" CD/LP/Track Review Leon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Fellowship" CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Ljubljana" CD/LP/Track Review Ljubljana
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 6, 2017
Read "Off Beat" CD/LP/Track Review Off Beat
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: August 9, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.