Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

335

Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Weaving Symbolics

Jeff Stockton By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Weaving Symbolics Philosopher, conceptualist, theoretician and supremely original alto saxophonist Steve Coleman has issued more than twenty albums over the last twenty years under his own name, all of which helped perpetuate his notion of the M-Base (macro-basic array of spontaneous extemporization) collective. Less a musicians' club than a way of thinking about music creation, Coleman and his band employ M-Base to combine structure with improvisation on Weaving Symbolics and deliver music that fuses funk, soul, world beat and jazz.

The song titles betray a New Age sensibility, but the music is complex yet accessible, and presented with passion coated in a professional sheen. This prodigious two-disc set offers a collection of nineteen cuts (totaling two hours) laid down in Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Salvador, Brazil—and the diversity of location is mirrored by the variety of band configurations.

"Ritual is performed by a septet (where three percussionists count as one); there's also Coleman solo, an alto/voice duo, a trio for alto, trumpet and trombone, and a sax/bass/drum trio anchored by Eric Revis and Jeff "Tain Watts, who play with their usual profound swing and dark melodicism. Pianist Jason Moran and drummer Marcus Gilmore round out the trio on "Tehu Six and "Tehu Seven ; Moran's distinctive touch and tasteful mastery shimmer.

The larger group tracks were recorded in Brazil and are kissed with a hint of samba, along with exotic touches of guitar and flute, but your overall response to this music will depend on your taste for the wordless scatting vocalese of Jen Shyu, whose agreeable tone places her somewhere between Cassandra Wilson and Irene Aebi, but tends to distract from the excellence of the various bands, otherwise unadorned and unbridled.


Track Listing: Ritual-Solo (Aether); Tehu Seven; Tetragrams/Astrology I ; Circle Weaving Thirteen; Ritual-Duo (Water); Gregorian; Unction; Triad Mutations II; Ritual-Trio (Air); Li Bai/Astrology II; Triad Mutations II; Ritual-Trio (Earth); Tehu Six; Glyphs in Motion; Triad Mutations III; Ritual-Septet (Fire); Numerology; Trigrams/Astrology III; Circle Weaving Eleven.

Personnel: Steve Coleman: alto saxophone; Tim Albright: trombone; Felipe Alexsandro: percussion; Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet; Marcus Gilmore: drums; Malik Mezzadri: flute; Jason Moran: piano; Sarah Murcia: bass; Eric Revis: bass; Nei Sacramento: percussion; Jen Shyu: vocals; Luciano Silva: percussion; Anthony Tidd: bass; Nelson Veras: guitar; Reggie Washington: bass; Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums.

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Label Bleu | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Umbrella Weather CD/LP/Track Review Umbrella Weather
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Born In An Urban Ruin CD/LP/Track Review Born In An Urban Ruin
by John Sharpe
Published: January 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 24, 2017
Read Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs) CD/LP/Track Review Sanguinaria (Hopeful Songs)
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 24, 2017
Read #knowingishalfthebattle CD/LP/Track Review #knowingishalfthebattle
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 23, 2017
Read Live In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review Live In Brooklyn
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 23, 2017
Read "Rough Boundaries" CD/LP/Track Review Rough Boundaries
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: July 31, 2016
Read "Earth Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Earth Tones
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 5, 2016
Read "Muddy Ditch" CD/LP/Track Review Muddy Ditch
by John Eyles
Published: April 7, 2016
Read "A New One" CD/LP/Track Review A New One
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 30, 2016
Read "windS" CD/LP/Track Review windS
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 31, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!