11 Songs, 1 Hour 5 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

2009’s Blending Times includes five compositions and five tracks listed as “improvisations conceived and directed by Ravi Coltrane.” The tenor saxophonist leads a top-notch band — pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer E. J. Strickland — that brings a high level of musicianship to all of the material, but the composed tracks have a sharp focus that makes them stand out. The album opens with Perdomo’s “Shine,” a piece that evokes Keith Jarrett and finds the rhythm section shading the piano and sax in highly artful ways. “A Still Life,” a Ravi original, brings to mind the work of the saxophonist’s late father, John, but also displays the son’s touch. The group swings sweetly on Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke’s “Epistrophy,” and is excellent on “One Wheeler Will,” a piece by the Brooklyn-based trumpeter Ralph Alessi. Blending Times features a different lineup for its closer, Charlie Haden’s “For Turiya.” Here, Coltrane is joined by Haden on bass and Brandee Younger on harp. The trio creates a delicate wonder on this spare and quiet tribute to the late keyboardist and harpist Alice Coltrane, Ravi’s mother.

EDITORS’ NOTES

2009’s Blending Times includes five compositions and five tracks listed as “improvisations conceived and directed by Ravi Coltrane.” The tenor saxophonist leads a top-notch band — pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress, and drummer E. J. Strickland — that brings a high level of musicianship to all of the material, but the composed tracks have a sharp focus that makes them stand out. The album opens with Perdomo’s “Shine,” a piece that evokes Keith Jarrett and finds the rhythm section shading the piano and sax in highly artful ways. “A Still Life,” a Ravi original, brings to mind the work of the saxophonist’s late father, John, but also displays the son’s touch. The group swings sweetly on Thelonious Monk and Kenny Clarke’s “Epistrophy,” and is excellent on “One Wheeler Will,” a piece by the Brooklyn-based trumpeter Ralph Alessi. Blending Times features a different lineup for its closer, Charlie Haden’s “For Turiya.” Here, Coltrane is joined by Haden on bass and Brandee Younger on harp. The trio creates a delicate wonder on this spare and quiet tribute to the late keyboardist and harpist Alice Coltrane, Ravi’s mother.

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