Friday, October 14, 2016

Lambic Jazz Vol.5

Oud Beersel Geuze LambicI'm running a little behind schedule, last night I did get to some lambic and jazz but I'm only just getting to write about it now.

Steve Coleman & the Council of Balance: Synovial Joints (PI). A few years back I used to listen Coleman's albums on a fairly regular basis at the library, but I haven't really heard anything after his solo saxophone album Invisible Paths. The factor that swayed my choice this time around was the ensemble size. I don't associate Coleman's music with a large ensemble (approximately 19 or 20 piece) and there were some surprises for me. It was not nearly as dense I imagined and led to quite a light feel at times with a floaty buoyancy.  A contributing factor may have been that the drums were less busy than on some of his other projects. I like the way that he managed the weight and balance of the ensemble sound and texture well balanced ensemble, although the album is a little static and same-y dynamic-wise. (a criticism that can be lobbed at a lot of music... mine included).

In general the writing grabbed me more than the soloists - of whom Coleman is the dominant voice throughout (other contributors include Jonathan Finlayson, David Bryant, Miles Okazaki and Maria Grand). Maybe it's not the place to start if you are new to Steve Coleman (check out some of his small group work), but definitely recommended for those interested in large ensembles and jazz composition.

Last night's listening was accompanied by Oud Beersel's Oude Geuze Ale. I may need to grab a couple more Lambics to carry this series through to the end of the semester.

Also pictured is Robert E. Sweet's Music Universe, Music Mind: Revisiting the Creative Music Studio, that I started reading this morning. Earlier in the year I noticed that there were a couple of 3 disc sets that had been released from the Creative Music Studio workshops. I wouldn't mind checking them out some time.

I picked up Synovial Joints on Monday night at Constellation at the Steve Coleman and Five Elements gig. This had been on the calendar for a while and I enjoyed getting out to some live music (I've been pretty slack this year) and of the venues I've been to in Chicago, Constellation is my favorite. This edition of Five Elements is comprised of  Steve Coleman (as, perc, vocal), Jonathan Finlayson (trpt, per), Kokayi (vocals), Anthony Tidd (bass), Sean Rickman (drums), and I have to say I enjoyed this gig more than the last time I heard the Five Elements (albeit with a slightly different line-up) a couple of years ago. I'm still not convinced by Finlayson. I'm not sure what it is exactly... intent maybe. The others in the group are very much, "here it is!" but sometimes I feel Finlayson is more, "is it here?" He seems like the odd one out at times. In saying that, I though he played much better than when I heard him with Coleman at the Chicago Cultural Center mentioned above. I enjoyed the effortlessness of Tidd on bass and Kokayi's vocals were the surprise package for me -great energy and he fit into the group sound well. It should be noted that they played one 2 hour set plus an encore - not bad!

Constellation Chicago October 2016
Constellation Chicago October 2016

Previous Lambic Jazz entries can be found here: Vol.1 -- Vol.2 -- Vol.3 -- Vol. 4

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