Review: Ravi Coltrane "From the Round Box"

Posted: June 9, 2000 in Album Reviews, Music
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Ravi Coltrane’s latest brings together some of the best accompaniment any band leader has seen in recent times. Pianist Geri Allen, bassist James Genus, drummer Eric Harland, and trumpeter Ralph Alessi forge quite a union.

“The Chartreuse Mean,” “Monk’s Mood” and “Between Lines” are just a handful of the solid pieces on the disc. But to talk about this work in terms of tracks is to sell it short in many ways.

“From the Round Box” playslike a liquid, freely moving creature with its own will. The result is a set that surges with ideas and energy lingering like intriguing conversations. It’s truly something to behold.

Those qualities are particularly evident on Alessi’s “Irony” which includes some soaring sopranos by Coltrane alternating with tight harmony lines and an unspoken call and response between the two players. “The Blessing” is another prime example of the conversational aesthetic that permeates this exceptional recording.

If you like to picture yourself sitting in a dimly lit, smoke-filled club while sipping a good scotch, this disc is for you. If that isn’t your thing, but you still love jazz, do yourself a favor and give this one a listen.


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