Friday, July 06, 2012

Ravi Coltrane - Spirit Fiction (Blue Note, 2012)

Saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane has built his career slowly and carefully with some high profile gigs as a sideman and a few discs as a leader. This is his first album for the venerable Blue Note label, produced by fellow saxophonist Joe Lovano (who also sits in on a couple of tunes.) The rest of the band is made up of Luis Perdomo or Geri Allen on piano, Drew Gress or James Genus on bass, Ralph Alessi on trumpet, and E.J. Strickland or Eric Harland on drums. Coltrane has a very clear and light tone on both the tenor and soprano saxophone and he uses that to his advantage on the opening tracks “Roads Cross” and “Klepto.” Coltrane and Alessi have worked together before and have an excellent musical relationship that flowers on “Klepto” with the two horn complementing each other while moving in time and space. “Spring and Hudson” takes things in an entirely different direction, with Coltrane engaged in a short but passionate and exciting duet with the drummer Eric Harland. Another exciting development on this album was when Joe Lovano joined the group to play the open ended Ornette Coleman composition “Check Out Time.” This shakes any remaining dust from the proceedings and allows the musicians the freedom to stretch out and express themselves. Spirit Fiction -

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