Anytime that the son of a jazz great not only follows his father into the business but also plays the same instruments, the difficulty in overcoming the shadow must be incredible. Yet Ravi Coltrane has displayed a great deal of maturity throughout his career, unafraid of covering his father's compositions or songs that he recorded, while successfully finding his own voice. These 2002 sessions feature Coltrane with two distinct rhythm sections, with either Andy Milne or George Colligan on piano and James Genus or Darryl Hall on bass, plus drummer Steve Haas. The comparisons to John Coltrane are inevitable with his explosive interpretations of "26-2" and "Fifth House," along with the bluesy, loping rendition of Thelonious Monk's "Ask Me Now." Yet the tense, brisk arrangement of "'Round Midnight" suggests the hustle and bustle of Manhattan nightlife at that hour, with a tense rhythm behind his furious soprano sax. Ravi's originals also demonstrate his promise as a composer, including the driving "Between Lines" and the delightfully abstract "The Mad 6." This is one of the best efforts by a fine musician who deserves to be evaluated on his own terms.
Mad 6 Review
by Ken Dryden