Steve Coleman

Curves of Life

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The innovative altoist Steve Coleman and his Five Elements constantly prove that it is possible to play creative funk. When one thinks of modern funk (as opposed to the Horace Silver variety), it is of repetitious basslines and drum machines but Coleman's music is actually quite spontaneous. The bass and drum parts are danceable but unpredictable and Coleman's improvising is fresh and distinctive. On this live session, Coleman and his quartet jam through a mostly continuous set with one song flowing into another. David Murray (on tenor) sits in on two pieces and for a change of pace Coleman duets with pianist Andy Milne on a rhapsodic and respectful version of "The Gypsy." The one flaw to the set is the final selection, a 13½-minute "I'm Burnin' Up" which is dominated by three annoying rappers.

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