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Steve Coleman, MORPHOGENESIS


Guy Berger
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  • 3 weeks later...

My copy arrived today; i had preordered from bandcamp and i guess they shipped early (been a while since i've ordered directly from Pi but i seem to remember early shipping of preorders being a thing for them).

On first listen, it's wonderful. My go to Coleman album always seems to be the latest one, but this one in particular will be getting a lot of spins. Maybe it's just because i'm on a bit of a Jimmy Giuffre kick at the moment but i LOVE that there is not a drummer here. The colours just flow... this is one to get lost in.

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Maybe, not sure...but it's been noted that Goodman would often rehearse the band on new material without a drummer, the theory being that if you can swing well without a drummer, you can sure as hell swing well with a good one, and even better with a great one. Point just being, playing drummerless was not a new concept for that band.

If anybody's keeping score at home, here's a different clip that imo has cleaner highs, so you can really hear the absent drummer, if you know what I mean.

 

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9 hours ago, sonnyhill said:

I was waiting to hear some samples before ordering this one.  The fact that there is no drummer made me apprehensive.

I was kind of unsure about the lack of drums too, not because 'no drums = bad' (obviously) but because i was uncertain as to what direction the music would take.

It's another evolution. It's definitely not 'Synovial Joints minus drums' but it does lead on from that album. Whatever the reason, drums no drums whatever, it sounds very fresh. I'm wary of hyping it up but i'm loving it.

The bass plays a big role. 

I'm very keen to hear your thoughts if/when you hear the album.

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11 hours ago, xybert said:

I was kind of unsure about the lack of drums too, not because 'no drums = bad' (obviously) but because i was uncertain as to what direction the music would take.

This was how I felt. No drummer + Steve Coleman made me feel uncertain about the musical direction. 

On another note, I caught the Five Elements at the Vanguard a couple of weeks ago.  They were making a live recording, which they plan to release. Plenty of drums will be on that one. 

 

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15 hours ago, xybert said:

I was kind of unsure about the lack of drums too, not because 'no drums = bad' (obviously) but because i was uncertain as to what direction the music would take.

It's another evolution. It's definitely not 'Synovial Joints minus drums' but it does lead on from that album. Whatever the reason, drums no drums whatever, it sounds very fresh. I'm wary of hyping it up but i'm loving it.

The bass plays a big role. 

I'm very keen to hear your thoughts if/when you hear the album.

I had my doubts about this before I picked up Steve's solo album Invisible Paths and they were quickly dissipated; as a musician he has such a strong sense of rhythm.  On the other hand, I did find his first two Pi Recordings a little disappointing because of the light rhythmic feel

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Hell, I expect any Coleman group to have at least as good a time than that. And I love Arditti playing Carter. Not the same thing in obvious ways, but ultimately, pocket gonna be pocket no matter where it lives or what form it takes. Pocket gonna be pocket.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Got this in last night, just had a first listen. Very nice,complex, detailed music, not dissimilar in cognitive impact from Elliot carter, actually (although with a totally different symmetry/geometry). If you find yourself sometimes leaning on the drums to feel Coleman's music more than actually hear it (I know that happens to me when I'm lazy-listening), well, too bad on this one!

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My first listen and the lack of drums doesn't seem a radical departure at all, hardly missing them. As said upthread, Coleman's music has such a strong rhythmic centre anyway. For me it's the use of piano that's interesting and, as Xybert says, the bass is right on the nose (Bruce Chudzik is a new name to me, I think).

It's reminds me a little of Zooid in it's detailed but light-footed groove but obviously doesn't sound like them at all. Just sounds like an excellent Coleman album. And that's just the first listen...

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"the lack of drums doesn't seem a radical departure at all, hardly missing them. As said upthread, Coleman's music has such a strong rhythmic centre anyway."

True. But let's not forget Neeraj Mehta's role on the album... Five tracks do include percussion instruments... sometimes prominently.

 

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  • 1 year later...

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