Colin Fleming

Colin’s Contributions


March 2011    Albums

Mosaic Select 36
John Carter and Bobby Bradford

If you’re an admirer of saxophonist-clarinetist John Carter and trumpeter Bobby Bradford’s musical union, you’ll surely appreciate the invaluable service provided by Mosaic with this three-disc set. Previously, if you wanted to hear these two West Coast...


October 2010    Albums

Natural Causes
Steve Tibbetts

As music to get lost in, this Steve Tibbetts album is state of the art. Featuring only Tibbetts on guitar, piano, kalimba and bouzouki and Marc Anderson on percussion—including a range of gongs—this is a decidedly Eastern disc, as though it were sourced...


08/04/09    Albums

The Trouble With Love
Richard Burgin

An enlightening hybrid, Richard Burgin’s The Trouble With Love is the rare album that ably sets one mood inside of another. With vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Chris Cefalu performing Burgin’s songs—and venturing from fuzzed-up Little Walter-style harp solos...


January/February 2009    DVDs

Jazz Icons Releases a Thrid Volume of Vintage Live Performances

With their dramatically drooped heads and shoulders, the members of Bill Evans’ 1964 trio look like an early, pre-electric shoegazer band in a Swedish broadcast that’s practically jazz-noir, a typical stylistic touch in the ongoing Jazz Icons series. This...


August 2008    Albums

Beyond Standard
Hiromi’s Sonicbloom

Pair up some old-time-radio sound effects with some Jeff Beck Wired-era whammy effects, toss in a satirical approach to the great American songsmiths, and rekindle the Japanese infatuation with the supergroup, and you too can make standards sound less standard—alien...


August 2008    Albums

Crossing the Field
Jenny Scheinman

If you prefer an album with a clear-cut identity, you might stumble a bit with this fifth instrumental outing from violinist/singer Jenny Scheinman. There’s a lot of shape-shifting going on here: string playing that resembles Mellotron effects, violin passages...


November 2007    Albums

Evolution of the Groove
Miles Davis

What a jumble. Nearly a decade and a half of groove morphology compressed into an EP, and overlaid with new components to show, at once, how rhythmically pioneering Davis was—as if this needed reiteration—in a Sly Stone/James Brown sense, and how much influence...


November 2007    Albums

The Harlem Experiment
The Harlem Experiment

A sideline project for the likes of clarinetist Don Byron, drummer Steve Berrios, keyboardist Eddie Martinez and guitarist Carlos Alomar, the ensemble billed as the Harlem House Band on this anthropologic study-cum-old-time-party-record produces a grand...


June 2007    Albums

Unmistakable Evidence
Coyote Poets

“It’s the bipolar part of town,” Unmistakable Evidence’s urbanely voiced, decidedly trippy narrator/shaman informs us on “Purgatory Avenue,” atop a rolling soundscape of token Sun Ra vamps, as though a queue of beat poets were waiting to come out and do...


June 2007    Albums

Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid

Modernist jazz rarely goes the futurist route, preferring distended time figures and atonal settings to the blips and blurs and electronic wheezes of the computer age, but this set is a virtual Tomorrowland of sound. Eschewing overdubs for a purer dialogue...


June 2007    Albums

Elana James
Elana James

A mix of old-world folk, high-stepping Irish jigs and deep country-and-western blues that’s served as populist gospel for everyone from Hank Williams to Bob Dylan to Lucinda Williams is apt to offer some panacea for the soul, if not genuine art. But this...


December 2006    Albums

Cone's Coup
Wycliffe Gordon

A high-spirited bonhomie practically radiates from this album, as you might infer from a quick glance at its titles alone, even before sitting down and spending an hour in the company of this fine band. If anyone still wishes to argue that Gordon has indeed...


December 2006    Albums

Love Sublime
Brad Mehldau And Renée Fleming

Tough not to completely give in to an album like this, where austerity is tantamount to a confession of faith and jazz rendered almost as psalmody. Mehldau’s concept, realized with spartan instrumentation, is grand: provide pianistic settings for the words...


December 2006    Albums

Remixed & Reimagined
Nina Simone

Nina Simone’s realpolitik folk-jazz might not naturally suggest itself as amenable to the whims of the remix artist, but listening to the rhythms inherent in Simone’s idiosyncratic phrasing spread across this disc’s wide-ranging beats, your equilibrium is...


October 2006    Artist Profiles

Don Byron: Soul Jerkin'

Junior Walker tends to be dismissed as a mere footnote by popular musical historians as the man behind a couple of mid-’60s hits that still play on oldies stations. At a time when urbane black pop ruled the charts, Walker was Motown’s de facto chitlin’ soul...


September 2006    Albums

Legends of Country Music
Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys

Jazz zealots might be put off by the notion of a country ensemble overhauling the music, but my how these guys could swing—or so the country-and-western apologists would maintain, even if Bob Wills and his bands always seemed more inclined to flat out throb...

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About Colin Fleming


Colin Fleming has been writing for Jazz Times since 2006. His work can also be found in a number of other publications: Slate, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Rolling Stone, 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, Sport Literate, The Times Literary Supplement, MOJO, Salmagundi, Gramophone, Spin, Vanity Fair, Boston Review, Cineaste, The LA Times, The Wilson Quarterly, Record Collector, The San Francisco Chronicle, Vanity Fair, Boston Review, 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, 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 first book, Dark March: Stories for When the Rest of the World is Asleep, will be released in June 2013 by Outpost19, with his second, Between Cloud and Horizon: A Relationship Casebook in Stories, following in September 2013 from Texas Review Press.

He has recently completed two more books: The Anglerfish Comedy Troupe: Stories from the Abyss, and a collection of stories set on Cape Cod called Here, Googan Googan: Home Videos, Rolling Heads, the One that Got Away, and All Manner of Briney Salvation from the Edge of America. He will shortly be finishing a novel called The Freeze Tag Sessions, about a genius piano prodigy who would rather be anything but, and Musings with Franklin, a novel entirely in conversations--and which you can drink to--which is set in a bar that may or may not be hell where the regulars--Writer, Bartender, and the guy from the suburbs who dresses up as Ben Franklin--gather.

He is also working on a book about the music of the Beatles and how it can shape a life called Just Give Me the Backing, a third novel--Padraig and Lorcan: The Demands of Crime, the Logistics of Friendship, and the Art of Taking the Piss--and a children's book, Silas Beaverton: The Beaver Who Tried to Dam the Ocean.

His website is