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Ravi Coltrane: From the Round Box

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On his second album as a leader, saxophonist Ravi Coltrane all but erases the stylistic imprint of his former employer Steve Coleman, an instantly recognizable, off-the-beat rhythmic concept that pervaded the music on Coltrane’s 1998 debut Moving Pictures; Coleman produced that disc and played on a few cuts, too. On From the Round Box, Coltrane’s new quintet dives headlong into a sound that’s almost maddeningly elusive in its murky rhythmic and harmonic implications. Thanks largely to the way pianist Geri Allen eschews traditional vamps and accents while nonchalantly ignoring bar lines with her sometimes narcotic chording and arpeggios, the group members always seem to be magically hovering around each other in a thrilling high-wire act.

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