Archive for July, 2007
LeRoy Downs will be live on the air
with pianist composer
Click picture to listen live online!
“Monterey Bay's Jazz and Blues station in Carmel California”
Taking tradition and moving beyond generations with her unique and original style!
live on KRMLradio.com or on
1410AM KRML radio in Carmel California
Saturday night and all is well here at Catalina’s Bar and
Grill, one of the finer establishments for jazz music here in Los Angeles. The first set is packed tonight
for Ravi Coltrane who has been performing since earlier in the week.
Usually when all of these musicians travel from city to
city, club-to-club etc, it takes a little time to adjust to the variables of
each environment. By the second or third day the band gets a feel for the
performance space, the audience and how their unique sound resonates inside the
different parameters. Ravi and his band seem
to have it all worked out!
I got there just as the band started to play. The rhythm
displays itself as a constant stream of melodic matter and Ravi
rides the ebbs and flows buoyantly beautiful. Warm and inviting is the temper
and tone of many of Ravi’s compositions and
his approach to the classic compositions as well. There is always a sense of
travel and movement stemming from a cool, calm and peaceful place. I would
imagine that those spiritual and musical crossroads are directly hereditary in
As many of you know or should know, Ravi,
the Coltrane family and the world has lost not only a mother and an outstanding
musician, but also a spiritual leader whose life was dedicated to peace and
blessings in the world and in the music with the passing of Alice
Coltrane. The creative spirit of the
Coltrane dynasty lives on through one, in regards to jazz music, and there is
no doubt that there will be many music blessings yet to come.
I am too young to have ever had the opportunity to see, hear
and experience Trane live so, I can’t begin to tell you the similarities or
differences between the men. However, I will tell you that in no way has there
been a shadow cast musically. Ravi, although
love and respect are a given, has always played with an individuality that
stakes its own plot in the vast Coltrane legacy. There is even a Ravi twist on his dad’s composition that takes “Giant
Steps” of its own.
Ravi has a new album
entitled “In Flux” that features the cats playing this evening: Luis Perdomo on
piano, Drew Gress on bass and EJ Strickland on drums. The album was nominated
for a Grammy in 2006 and although the mantle still has a warm place, the
accolades and recognition do count for something in that professional world of
music, numbers, sales, bookings, tours and the whole bit. Any extra dollars
associated with jazz music is always a good thing. Taking home trophies is not
that energy that drives this band; only good musical chemistry, creative
approaches, and a respect for the past, now and future of this music. Tonight
the person who drove the furthest to get to the gig gets to take one home as a
special gift. Not an incentive, just a nice thank you!
Ravi’s wife is pregnant and
he told a story about her great Lebanese uncle Narcine from the old country
that everyone spoke so highly of but not many people actually knew because of
an untimely departure. Well, they named a song after him and who knows, perhaps
the name will take its claim on earth again soon!
If you don’t know by now the best way to experience this
music is to wear it, live it and be a part of its DNA. Buy the music of course
but, please go and experience the real. We as listeners contribute to the love
and heart of the music and without us the tree would still fall but… Ravi and I plan to have a conversation sometime in the
near future and we will get deep in cortex of a great tenor player, a warm
human being and beautiful musical spirit.