Carri Coltrane: The First Time

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
The first impression is very important. Carri Coltrane’s comes with a lot of ambition. Piano and guitar ring the song in, and then it slows down. It’s a vocalise version of “Blue in Green” (called “Sacred Silent Prayer”) and it’s no easier to sing than it was to play. The opening section, played by Miles in the original, has Carri slow and at the bottom of her range, where she sounds quite husky. The words have her despondent at first: “Sadness brings deeper shades of color, shades I never thought could ever exist.” The moody musing continues, then we get a pino solo from Ted Brancato, slightly inspired by Bill Evans but not a copy job. When Carri returns, she tackles the John Coltrane solo, which is sung higher than before – and a lot faster. With it the tone changes: “I have counted a thousand stars and thought of you at least a million times or more.” The husky voice returns, but the hope remains, as she says “I could never ever forget you.” Ron Carter has a stately bowed solo, and then it fades away. An auspicious opening, you might say.

“Love Me Where I Live” comes in relaxed, guitar and shakers setting the mood. Carri’s voice is high, sweet, and fragile, as she admits the power held by her lover, and how she wants more. “You said ‘What can I do for you?’”; her answer is a series of groans. And here the strings come in, with sharp descending jabs of the type heard on old disco tracks. The string part build to a nice quaver, as Carri fades out by repeating “Love me right.”

“Don’t Get Me Started” is a more substantial song on the bad side of love, perhaps the answer to the last track. “Must you drive me mad by being so delicious?” The guitar is more aggressive than before, and Matt Langley’s sax is used to greater effect. His solo is sour and mournful, echoing Carri’s mood as she worries about the recurrence of love.

The face of love changes again with “Something Real”, as Carri makes the demands this time. In a tune reminiscent of Aretha’s “Do Right Woman”, she sets her goal: “I need a real man with real love and a sweet humanity, who saves himself just for me. I need something real.” A simple message; set against guitar and piano, the words are the focus, and they ring true.

The words to “Evening Snow” read like a poem, and that’s how the music is set. The strings are used to great effect: a soft blanket of sound that in time gets thicker and lusher, like the evening snow. Langley’s solo is plaintive and oboe-like, standing sadly as the strings approach. The musicians are the stars of this track, and they more than earn it. “Feel Like Makin’ Love” (the Roberta Flack hit written by Gene McDaniels, the producer of this album) gets a sweet treatment, less aggressive than the Flack version, helped by the strings and Carri’s nice vocal, all in her upper register.

“River in the Desert” opens with introspective guitar and a provocative line: “You were a fountain, and I took a drink.” The desert metaphor is developed as Lewis Nash rings a storm on his cymbals. “Just because I’ve learned to walk, doesn’t mean that I can run.” As Carri learns how much is left to learn, her voice soars, in what might be her best moment on this disc. “Life” is based on “Freddie Freeloader”, and opens with dissonant chords from Mark Lucas’ guitar. Carri begins with the solo, and it’s easily McDaniels’ best lyric of the record. “This is life – don’t you forget it! ... First you come into the world and when you arrive – you are astounded!” The lyric cracks wise, joking at how tricky life is – and then you fall in love! It’s another side of love, from an album that gives us several. But then, that’s expected – there IS something special about the first time.

| Record Label: Numoon | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Al Di Meola Al Di Meola
Mike Mainieri Mike Mainieri
Rosemary Clooney Rosemary Clooney
The Rippingtons The Rippingtons
Peter White Peter White
Jason Miles Jason Miles
Jan Hammer Jan Hammer
Dave Grusin Dave Grusin
Phil Upchurch Phil Upchurch
Turning Point Turning Point

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 21, 2017
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Shoebox View" CD/LP/Track Review Shoebox View
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 4, 2016
Read "Escape  from The Unhappy Society" CD/LP/Track Review Escape from The Unhappy Society
by Anthony Shaw
Published: February 1, 2017
Read "Arclight" CD/LP/Track Review Arclight
by Doug Collette
Published: March 5, 2016
Read "Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club" CD/LP/Track Review Black Art Jazz Collective - Presented By The Side Door Jazz Club
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 28, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!