270

Steve Coleman: The Sonic Language of Myth

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Coleman: The Sonic Language of Myth A lot of sound and fury here. Signifying what? Well, according to RCA Victor’s publicity department, The Sonic Language of Myth is “a philosophical journey in sound. Incorporating ancient philosophical, astrological and musical precepts into his compositional foundation, Steve Coleman presents his way of hearing and experiencing music.” And since these precepts are so ancient, who’s going to argue with him? Not I. I’m far more interested in the music itself. Is it Jazz? More or less. Does it swing? Sometimes. At the very least, one has to give Coleman credit for doing it his way, whether or not he agrees with what the alto saxophonist and his colleagues (including a multitude of guest artists) have accomplished. Me? I’m largely mystified, but that’s my fault, not Coleman’s. As he says, “The way a music sounds depends not only on what the musician is expressing but also on what the listener is hearing.” And therein, as Shakespeare might say, lies the rub. I hear what Coleman and company are doing; I am simply unable to understand (or appreciate) it. Coleman goes on to say that while he realizes that “for most people music is entertainment,” to him “music also tells a story. Those who are ready (why is he looking at me?) will hear the story; however, I believe that for music that is based on the principles of creation (presumably his music, and how’s that for pre–empting censure?), even those who listen for entertainment still subconsciously receive mind–expanding vibrations.“ Which is how I must be receiving mine from Coleman’s album, as consciously, at least, there’s no emotional or spiritual bond in sight. Again, Coleman has the answer: “Each selection contains an outer meaning and an inner (immanent) meaning.” I think it’s the inner meaning that may be causing the problem, although I’ve not gleaned a whole lot of pleasure or insight from the outer meaning either. But other, more enlightened souls may acquire plenty, and one must admit that Coleman is an impressive saxophonist, no matter how impenetrable his music may be.

Track listing: Precession; Maat; The Twelve Powers; The Gate; Seth; Ausar (Reincarnation); Heru (Redemption) (68:14).


Track Listing: Precession; Maat; The Twelve Powers; The Gate; Seth; Ausar (Reincarnation) Listen; Heru (Redemption).

Personnel: Tim Albright: trombone; Ralph Alessi: trumpet; Erik Charlston: vocals; Steve Coleman: alto sax; Ravi Coltrane: tenor sax; Miguel Diaz: percussion; Shane Endsley: trumpet; Dave Gold: viola; Craig Handy: tenor sax; Stefon Harris: vibraphone; Dorothy Lawson: cello; Vijay Lyer: piano; Karen McVoy: vocals; Robert Mitchell: piano; Jason Moran: piano; Eugene Palmore: vocals; Sara Parkins: violin; Todd Reynolds: violin; Sean Rickman: drums; Jeanne Ricks: vocals; Mary Rowell: violin; Rosangela Silvestre: vocals; Anthony Tidd: electric bass; Reggie Washington: acoustic bass.

Title: The Sonic Language of Myth | Year Released: 1999 | Record Label: RCA Victor


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Eleven Cages CD/LP/Track Review Eleven Cages
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Afro-Caribbean Mixtape CD/LP/Track Review Afro-Caribbean Mixtape
by Mark F. Turner
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 27, 2017
Read The Late Trane CD/LP/Track Review The Late Trane
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 27, 2017
Read Developing Story CD/LP/Track Review Developing Story
by Edward Blanco
Published: June 26, 2017
Read Lantern CD/LP/Track Review Lantern
by John Kelman
Published: June 26, 2017
Read "A Zoology of the Future" CD/LP/Track Review A Zoology of the Future
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Recent Developments" CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Small World" CD/LP/Track Review Small World
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 26, 2017
Read "Proximity" CD/LP/Track Review Proximity
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 7, 2016
Read "Persuasion" CD/LP/Track Review Persuasion
by Jeff Winbush
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Live At Shinjuku Pit Inn" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Shinjuku Pit Inn
by Nicola Negri
Published: September 9, 2016

Smart Advertising!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.