Coltrane, Ravi - Spirit Fiction (CD)

Ravi Coltrane

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    2012 Blue Note debut from saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane. The 11-track album features two different band lineups, each with a unique expressive urgency. Several tracks feature Coltrane's long-term quartet with pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress and drummer E.J. Strickland. Coltrane also enlisted a quintet featuring trumpeter Ralph Alessi, pianist Geri Allen, bassist James Genus and drummer Eric Harland, the personnel featured on his sophomore release From the Round Box. Coltrane's label mate and fellow saxophonist Joe Lovano served as co-producer of the album along with Coltrane. Lovano also plays alongside Coltrane and Allen on Paul Motian's 'Fantasm' and joins the quintet for an explosive version of Ornette Coleman's 'Check Out Time'. Spirit Fiction also includes six original compositions by Coltrane and three by Alessi.

    1. Performer
    2. Jazz Instrument
    3. Avant-Garde/Downtown
    Number of Discs
    Copy Control
    Number of Items
    Media Type
    Spirit Fiction *
    Country of Origin
    Blue Note (Label)
    Audio CD
    Billboard (p.48) - "Compositionally, Coltrane favors themes that recall the post-modal styles of father John, Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. His modern twist is in their use: keeping themes short and improvisations long."
    1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Roads Cross
    2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Klepto
    3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Spirit Fiction
    4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] The Change
    5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Who Wants Ice Cream
    6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Spring & Hudson
    7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Cross Roads
    8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Yellow Cat
    9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Check Out Time
    10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Fantasm
    11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] Marilyn & Tammy
    Release Date
    25 June 2012
    Songs / Tracks
    1. [ Disc 01 Track 01 ] Roads Cross
    2. [ Disc 01 Track 02 ] Klepto
    3. [ Disc 01 Track 03 ] Spirit Fiction
    4. [ Disc 01 Track 04 ] Change, My Girl, The
    5. [ Disc 01 Track 05 ] Who Wants Ice Cream
    6. [ Disc 01 Track 06 ] Spring & Hudson
    7. [ Disc 01 Track 07 ] Cross Roads
    8. [ Disc 01 Track 08 ] Yellow Cat
    9. [ Disc 01 Track 09 ] Check Out Time
    10. [ Disc 01 Track 10 ] Fantasm
    11. [ Disc 01 Track 11 ] Marilyn & Tammy

    Personnel: Ravi Coltrane (soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone).
    Liner Note Author: Joe Lovano.
    Photographer: Darlene DeVita.
    Despite the metaphysical suggestion in Spirit Fiction's title, this is Ravi Coltrane's most cerebral, process-oriented recording to date. This does not mean, however, that his debut offering for Blue Note Records is dry or academic. There is an abundance of emotion and sensual detail, most of it expressed gently, with the confidence -- and authority -- of a veteran bandleader. Coltrane employs two lineups on the date. First is his longstanding quartet with pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer E.J. Strickland. The other is the quintet that appeared on 2000's Round Box: trumpeter Ralph Alessi, pianist Geri Allen, bassist James Genus, and drummer Eric Harland. Coltrane composed six pieces for this session and Alessi, three. There are also readings of Ornette Coleman's "Check Out Time" and Paul Motian's "Fantasm." Spirit Fiction was produced by saxophonist Joe Lovano, who appears on cover tunes. Coltrane's vision of process gets a bold workup here on three tunes. "Roads Cross" is jarring at first, head-to-head knotty, yet it jells about two minutes in. Here and on the seventh cut, conversely named "Cross Roads," the feel is similar. This is because the quartet was recorded as two separate duos playing the tune simultaneously and then mixing them together. The title track offers a further exploration of this technique, but this time, the duos recorded the piece separately and were dubbed on top of one another. In each case, Coltrane's process theory -- using the studio as a fifth member -- actually creates additional strategic possibilities not only of color and texture, but for improvisation. Other highlights are more organic in approach, the gorgeous original ballad "The Change, My Girl" provides a delicate, intricate Coltrane solo full of grace and elegance. Alessi's "Klepto" is a solid, swinging, post-bop groover. On the trumpeter's "Yellow Cat," Coltrane displays his exceptionally well-developed skills as an accompanist. The interplay between Lovano and Coltrane on "Check Out Time" is instinctive, full of delightful dialogue, and a fine contrast in harmonic ideas with stellar playing by Allen. On closer "Marilyn & Tammy," Coltrane's soprano reveals his father's influence in the building of arpeggios, yet the sense of compositional mapmaking is his own. Spirit Fiction is a confident next step for the saxophonist; its execution and ambition offer a glance at where he's been, but more importantly, a solid look at where he's going. ~ Thom Jurek

    Date Released
    Audio Format
    PCM Audio
    Studio / Live
    Video Disabled
    Ravi Coltrane
    Joe Lovano; Ravi Coltrane
    1. Coltrane, Ravi
    58m 53s
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