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Steve Coleman and Five Elements, with their just released live performance at the renowned Village Vanguard in New York City, “Mdw Ntr,” finds MacArthur Fellow Steve Coleman exploring new terrain in his use of non-linear performance practices in his music. Featuring his long-running flagship ensemble Five Elements, he utilizes spontaneous and pre-composed modules, or motivic cells that can be played in any order, allowing each musician to spontaneously jump forward or backward to different sections – even between compositions – highlighting different strata of the music and reinventing the form in a completely interactive way with each performance.

„Steve Coleman and his Five Elements still represent today – despite being active since the II half of the 1980s – a staple, as much as dynamic, in the contemporary jazz scene. (…) This shifting ensemble (where Ambrose Akinmusire, Jason Moran and Vijay Iyer have also passed through) has as its ingredients-basics “cyclical rhythmic strategies, adapted from West African and South Asian musics; numerological precepts inspired by ancient Egypt and the orisha; (…) the pop and trance of a James Brown-esque funk groove” (N.Chimen, “The Music of Change,” IlSaggiatore p.92). If in recent years the poetics of altosax Coleman had appeared to tend toward rarefaction and abstractionism, recent recordings (Live at the Village Vanguard vols. I and II, Pi Recordings) and live performances (…) signal a powerful, energetic return to “groove funk.” “ – Luigi Onori, Il Manifesto (translated)

Steve Coleman, alto saxophone
Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet
Rich Brown, electric bass
Sean Rickman, drums

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