Colin Fleming

Colin’s Contributions


04/12/15    Albums

Lines of Color: Live at the Jazz Standard
Gil Evans Project

The second outing from Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project presents a transition to the live medium, and if it’s possible for Evans’ arrangements to have more bonhomie than they typically do, it’s in this setting. Rarely does a big band sound so intimate...


04/10/15    Albums

So Many Things: The European Tour 1961
The John Coltrane Quintet Featuring Eric Dolphy

Eric Dolphy’s bolstering of the Classic Quartet into a titan-heavy quintet has long split the Coltrane camp. The naysayers cite an ensemble sound that had become too busy, with Dolphy, as master colorist, providing too many bright and distracting rays. The...


01/15/15    Albums

The Process
Jon Batiste/Chad Smith/Bill Laswell

Certain albums just radiate a lot more groove than others, and with its hoodoo rhythms, souped-up dub textures and “When the Levee Breaks”-style drum surges, The Process is, at times, that rare brand of jazz that can double as club music. Red Hot Chili Peppers...


01/13/15    Albums

In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral
Branford Marsalis

It took a while to get there, but Branford Marsalis’ first unaccompanied live album, cut in the same hallowed San Franciscan church-space as Duke Elilngton’s 1960s Sacred Concerts, feels like an inevitable visitation. This is one man alone with his three...


12/03/14    Albums

Chick Corea

Jelly Roll Morton had his “Finger Breaker,” and so in the same pianistic spirit this two-disc Chick Corea set might as well be subtitled “Genre Buster.” Solo piano recitals are as close as jazz gets to classical music, but Corea has an entirely new slant...


11/24/14    Albums

Charlie Haden/Jim Hall
Charlie Haden/Jim Hall

Cut at the Montreal International Jazz Festival in July 1990, this Haden-Hall bass/guitar duet album smacks of affinity, several ways over. The opening “Bemsha Swing” commences with a super-fluid Haden bass riff, nailing the song’s outside-of-time feel while...


05/13/14    Albums

Miles at the Fillmore--Miles Davis 1970: The Bootleg Series Vol. 3
Miles Davis

Miles Davis’ late 1960s and early 1970s live electric music always had a physicality to it, a heft that could make it feel as though something was leaning on you as you listened. Darker, bluesy shadings suggested an undercurrent of early soul and R&B, but...


12/24/13    Albums

The Original Mono Recordings
Miles Davis

There’s a tendency to consider monaural recordings as stuff for the hoi polloi, what you got back in the late 1950s and early ’60s if you weren’t well-heeled enough to have high-end stereo equipment. But as this nine-disc box makes plain, mono, so far as...


05/21/13    Features

Bryan Ferry's Old, Unknown World

Roxy Music singer recasts his hits in 'The Jazz Age'


02/17/13    Albums

The Jazz Workshop Concerts 1964-1965
Charles Mingus

Certain Mosaic boxes pull rank on others, no small accomplishment given the unilateral quality of the company’s various releases. This particular set, though, is one of the half dozen or so true heavies: an epic slab of absolutely vital—and vanguard—1960s...


11/20/12    Albums

Live in Paris
The A, B, C & D of Boogie Woogie

As one of rock’s most eloquent drummers—and one who never lacked for groove—Charlie Watts always seemed like he’d be a boogie-woogie natural, even if the Rolling Stones tended to avoid that medium. But this is boogie-woogie central here, as you’d expect...


07/30/12    Albums

Kenny Drew/Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen

This is about as convivial as jazz gets, and if you like listening to music that feels like it’s talking to you, Kenny Drew and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen are close to ideal companions. Which makes sense, given the rapport so in evidence on these sessions...


07/27/12    Albums

Bill Dixon

Bracingly conceptual, trumpeter Bill Dixon’s live Envoi is for the listener whose tastes run towards the heady. If you’re prone to nodding in agreement as you listen to something like Ornette Coleman’s Swedish recordings for Blue Note, here are your latest...


05/11/12    Albums

Twin Bill: Two Piano Music of Bill Evans
Alan Pasqua

An album intended as an homage to Bill Evans can be a bit of tricky business, given how dissociative Evans’ playing could be. There is not a single player that one might mistake for him, and few that can be recognized faster. This provides an opportunity...


01/29/12    Albums

The Bowie Variations
Mike Garson

Having immersed yourself in an album that purports to be an extension on assorted musical themes by rock composer David Bowie, you might be surprised to find yourself not thinking about Bowie at all. Albums of this nature sometimes function as glorified...


01/25/12    Albums

Post Scriptum
Wolfert Brederode Quartet

When a jazz band is able to strike a balance with music that is brooding and personal yet outward and approachable, listeners who otherwise wouldn’t agree on much are in for a shared treat. This second album from Dutch pianist Wolfert Brederode’s international...

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About Colin Fleming


Colin Fleming has been writing for Jazz Times since 2006. He is a regular contributor to NPR's Weekend Edition ( and Ireland's Tom Dunne Show. He writes on art, music, literature, architecture, ballet, and sports for a wide range of publications: Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, Sports Illustrated, The Paris Review, the TLS, The Spectator, Boston Review, Boston Magazine, Slate, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, The New York Times Book Review, The New Criterion, Art New England, Tin House, Salon, ARTnews, ESPN The Magazine, The Smart Set, The Village Voice, The Barnes and Noble Review, The American Scholar, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Record Collector, MOJO, Salmagundi, Gramophone, Spin, Cineaste, The LA Times, The Wilson Quarterly, Record Collector, The San Francisco Chronicle, The American Interest, Architectural Record, Art in America, Metropolis, Sight and Sound, The Washington Post, Film Comment, The New Statesman, Time Out New York, Smithsonian Magazine, and many others.

His fiction has recently appeared in, or is forthcoming from, AGNI, Cincinnati Review, the VQR, Post Road, Hawaii Review, Notre Dame Review, TriQuarterly, Pen America, The Hopkins Review, The Republic of Letters, The Ampersand Review, Boulevard, The Iowa Review, Slice Magazine, Black Clock, The Texas Review, Green Mountains Review, Denver Quarterly, Bull, Michigan Quarterly Review, and The Massachusetts Review.

His The Anglerfish Comedy Troupe: Stories from the Abyss, is due from Dzanc in August 2015.

He recently finished a volume of Cape Cod-set fiction called Here, Googan Googan: Tales of Cape Cod for Lubbers, Lovers, and Angels, and is completing a novel about a piano prodigy who does not wish to be one called The Freeze Tag Sessions, a memoir entitled I Am Not Like You: A Broken Man's Attempt to Write His Way Out of Hell One Story, Book, Deadline, and Note-to-Self at a Time, a Beatles book called Same Band You've Never Known: An Alternative Musical History of the Beatles, and a children's book, Silas Beavorton: The Beaver Who Tried to Dam the Ocean.

Other volumes in the works: a book of modern ghost stories; a novel called Run It Again involving the ghost of Van Gogh, John Lennon on acid in the summer of '67, and a dying Edgar Allan Poe; a novel told entirely in conversation called Musings with Franklin which may or may not be set in hell involving Writer, Bartender, and the guy from the suburbs who dresses up as Ben Franklin; Death Me: Stories from the Point of No Return, a work of incidents from which there is no turning back; a nonfiction compendium, How Brightly It Glistens: Excursions in Art, Music, Literature, and the Writing Life; and a musical memoir, Just Give Me the Backing: A Life Lived to the Music of the Beatles.

He enjoys Islay whisky, all things Red Sox, tidal pools, Dunkin' Donuts, Dickens novels, color field painting, Cape Ann, everything Charlie Parker, the seascapes of Fitz Henry Lane, Stone Roses bootlegs, and walking upwards of 100 miles a week.