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Ravi Coltrane: Spirit Fiction

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Depending on how you think about it, Ravi Coltrane was either blessed with inspiration or burdened by expectations when he was named after three such imposing musicians: his parents John and Alice Coltrane and Ravi Shankar. The son handled it much better than most children of celebrities: The younger Coltrane has managed to slowly but surely build an impressive musical career without sounding very much like any of his famous namesakes-despite playing his father’s instruments, the tenor and soprano saxophones.

Ravi Coltrane risks those comparisons again by sharing his new album, Spirit Fiction, with co-producer Joe Lovano, an acknowledged John Coltrane heir who plays tenor sax duets with Ravi on two tracks. The legend-saddled son can afford these risks, because he has developed such a distinctive voice on his horn that there’s no danger of confusing him with his dad, Lovano, Dewey Redman or anyone else.

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