Reedists Ravi Coltrane (pictured) and Michael McGinnis, along with Coltrane’s wife and business partner, Kathleen Hennessy, have united to form RKM Music. The first three releases, all executive produced by Coltrane, include two CDs by Alessi, Vice and Virtue and This Against That, and Tangents by McGinnis and his band, Between Green.
The improv-heavy Vice and Virtue is a collaboration with former Steve Coleman and Ani DiFranco drummer Shane Endsley, who sometimes doubles on trumpet. Another musician from Coleman’s groups, trombonist Tim Albright, contributes to several tracks. Meanwhile, the more composed This Against That features clarinetist Don Byron, guitarist David Gilmore, bassist Drew Gress, drummer Nasheet Waits and special guests pianist Jason Moran and poet Julie Patton. Alessi has played with all of the players over the past few years in groups led by Byron, Steve Coleman, Uri Caine and Fred Hersch.
McGinnis’ Tangents was inspired by Ellington’s method of composing with a specific group of musicians in mind. RKM says the CDs takes “a chamber approach that incorporates improvisation, allowing each player to contribute to the outcome of the composition.” McGinnis plays saxophone and clarinet on the disc, which also features Endsley exclusively on trumpet as well as pianist Jacob Sacks, bassist Dave Ambrosio and drummer Mark Dodge, along with special guest vocalist Anna Dagmar Johnson on one track.
Future RKM releases include a new recording by Venezuelan pianist Luis Perdomo, who has worked with Ray Barretto and Ravi Coltrane, and a project with Julie Patton featuring musicians associated with RKM producing tracks to support her poetry.
RKM Music is distributed by City Hall Records. For more info, visit rkmmusic.com.Originally Published