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Ravi Coltrane: Blending Times

An air of impulsive surrender suffuses this music, as if Ravi Coltrane aimed to embody Lennie Tristano’s musical philosophy of intuition and feeling. From E.J. Strickland’s cascading, rainstick-like drumming and Drew Gress’ malleable bass lines, to Luis Perdomo’s delicate, pastoral piano and the leader’s accomplished yet self-effacing tenor saxophone, the band adopts mindfulness as a method. The CD’s several collective improvisations-“conceived and directed” by Coltrane, according to the liner info-are less examples of free-form incoherence than they are of spontaneous composition, be they backbeat-oriented (“Narcined”), high-energy/free (“First Circuit”) or sparse and balladic (“Before With After”).

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