After a recording career given over in large part to shtick and nostalgia, the last few years have seen a well-deserved spike for Anthony Coleman. His last two records for Tzadik showed him (on 2006's Pushy Blueness) as a strong composer and (also 2006, Shmutisige Magnaen: Coleman Plays Geburtig) a remarkable interpreter. Lapidation continues the documentation of the pianist as a strong composer.
The five pieces included were written over the span of the last decade, ranging from a piano solo to horn-heavy tentet, but despite the span of time over which they were composed, they show a strong and coherent voice, coming together something like a suite rich with Schoenberg-ian swells and instrumental tensions. For the most part, Coleman appears only as a conductor here, leaving much of the piano (including the solo piece) to the more-than-capable Joseph Kubera. The ensemble pieces are given stately readings by a group including Downtown stalwarts Marty Ehrlich, Ned Rothenberg and Doug Wieselman (reeds), Kevin Norton and Jim Pugliese (percussion) and Ted Reichman (accordion), as well as some newer New Yorkers (guitarist Marco Cappelli and trombonist Christopher McIntyre).
Also worth noting for this presentation of Coleman-as-composer are the excellent liner notes by composer Lee Hyla. A recording of such dense riches only benefits from intelligent mapping and Hyla does a commendable job escorting the listener through the challenges and rewards Coleman has to offer.
Track Listing: Lapidation; East Orange; I Diet on Cod; Mise em abime; The King of Kabay.
Personnel: Anthony Coleman: conductor, electric organ; Doug Wieselman: reeds; Marty Ehlrich: reeds; Dana Jessen: reeds; Ned Rothenberg: reeds; Gareth Flowers: brass; Christopher McIntyre: brass; Matt Plummer: brass; Jacob Garchik: brass; Cornelius Dufallo: strings; Dan Barrett: strings; Sean Conly: strings; Retake Iowa: strings; Ashley Paul: strings; Chris Veilleux: strings; Ben Davis: strings; Ken Filiano: strings; Stephan Gosling: piano; Joseph Kubera: piano; Christopher McDonald: piano; Cory Pesaturo: accordion; Ted Reichman: accordion; Marco Cappelli: guitar; Jameson Swanagon: guitar; Kevin Norton: percussion; Jim Pugliese: percussion; Eli Keszler: percussion.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.