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Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) (Pi)

According to many who witnessed them in action, King Oliver and Louis Armstrong were so locked into one another on the bandstand that they could devise complex, spontaneous improvisations in perfect unison—so in synch that listeners couldn’t believe they hadn’t been written in advance. (Armstrong himself later confirmed that they had, indeed, been created extemporaneously.) … Read More “Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Live at the Village Vanguard, Vol. 1 (The Embedded Sets) (Pi)”

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Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Functional Arrhythmias

When an artist explicitly identifies his source material, the audience has the option of listening for those themes or hearing the music purely as music. Steve Coleman’s album concepts tend to be so esoteric they’re usually easy to ignore. But in exploring the interactions of the heartbeat and other bodily systems on Functional Arrhythmias, he … Read More “Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Functional Arrhythmias”

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Steve Coleman and Five Elements: The Mancy of Sound

The Mancy of Sound is the second recording from the new edition of alto saxophonist Steve Coleman’s Five Elements, an octet that features trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, trombonist Tim Albright, vocalist Jen Shyu, bassist Thomas Morgan, drummers Tyshawn Sorey and Marcus Gilmore, and percussionist Ramon Garcia Perez. As complex and mathematical as last year’s Harvesting Semblances … Read More “Steve Coleman and Five Elements: The Mancy of Sound”

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Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Harvesting Semblances and Affinities

Steve Coleman has been serving up complicated, beguiling musical math for nearly a quarter century, from his early work with the M-Base scene beginning in the mid-’80s through his various projects with his group Five Elements. By now, we’ve grown accustomed to the weave and flow of his intricate rhythmic and polyrhythmic designs, as heard … Read More “Steve Coleman and Five Elements: Harvesting Semblances and Affinities”

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