Steve Colson

The Untarnished Dream

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It has been many years in between recordings for Adegoke Steve Colson, the AACM member whose piano playing is as enjoyable as any in the modern jazz continuum. There's a calm and reserve in his performances on The Untarnished Dream, yet he's a marvelously original player who can spontaneously ramble, yet command grand interest and attention. With the bulletproof rhythm section of bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille, Colson has the absolute perfect team to inspire his personal voice on the piano to shine through. And there are several tracks that feature his wife Iqua Colson, a distinctive singer in the Abbey Lincoln-cum-Amina Claudine Myers tradition. The instrumental trio tracks clearly display a mighty bond between three distinctive and extraordinary jazz musicians in the moment. Where "Circumstantial" is attractive and bright, "Maybe" and "Parallel Universe" seem more off the cuff, and the solo piano piece "Warriors" has Colson in Zen-like extrapolations. Iqua Colson sings in forms that liner note author Amiri Baraka terms as approaching art songs, loosely hopping over but not leaping intervals during the poignant "Digression," and swinging during the angular title selection. Cyrille adds lengthy solo introductions that recall Max Roach, certainly in tribute to the recently deceased master drummer. As infrequent as the Colsons offer a recording to the public, it should be celebrated when they do.

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