SPIRIT FICTION ON JUNE 19
Saxophonist and composer Ravi Coltrane is set to release Spirit Fiction, his debut recording for Blue Note Records, on June 19. The 11-track album features two different band lineups, each with a unique expressive urgency. Several tracks feature Coltrane’s long-term quartet with pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Drew Gress and drummer E.J. Strickland. Coltrane also enlisted a quintet featuring trumpeter Ralph Alessi, pianist Geri Allen, bassist James Genus and drummer Eric Harland — the personnel featured on his sophomore release From the Round Box.
Coltrane’s label mate and fellow saxophonist Joe Lovano served as co-producer of the album along with Coltrane. “I’ve always produced my own recordings except for the first one, Moving Pictures, which was produced by Steve Coleman,” says Coltrane. “Joe was a truly supportive producer on this project. He has been an important figure in my life for over 20 years.” Lovano also plays alongside Coltrane and Allen in an intimate reading of Paul Motian’s “Fantasm” and joins the quintet for an explosive version of Ornette Coleman’s “Check Out Time,” from Coleman’s 1968 Blue Note album Love Call. Spirit Fiction also includes six original compositions by Coltrane and three by Alessi.
Having helped mark Blue Note’s 70th anniversary as a member of The Blue Note 7, the all-star septet that released the album Mosaic and embarked on an extensive North American tour in 2009, Coltrane is thrilled to join the Blue Note roster. “[Blue Note Chairman Emeritus] Bruce Lundvall has been very supportive of my work and this project. I’m honored to be on Blue Note under his watch. He’s very music-driven, which is incredibly encouraging. He’s continued the Alfred Lion example of putting music first and taking chances.”
Born on Long Island in 1965, Ravi Coltrane is the second son of John and Alice Coltrane. His father (who recorded the landmark Blue Train for Blue Note in 1957) died when Coltrane was only two. Alice, a renowned composer and pianist, raised him on the West Coast and proved a strong role model in her own right. (Ravi had the honor of producing and playing on Alice Coltrane’s Translinear Light, released three years prior to her death in 2007.)
A move back east to New York and pivotal stints with Elvin Jones, Wallace Roney and Steve Coleman led Coltrane to begin asserting himself as a leader in the mid 1990’s, and he has since released five albums including Moving Pictures (1998), From The Round Box (2000), Mad 6 (2002), In Flux (2005), and Blending Times (2009). He has also continued appearing as a sideman with the likes of McCoy Tyner, Jack DeJohnette, Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts, and Flying Lotus (a.k.a. Steven Ellison, Ravi’s cousin), and as a co-leader of the Saxophone Summit with Lovano and Dave Liebman.
“One of the things to admire about the saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is the slow methodical way he built his career,” wrote Ben Ratliff in The New York Times, as he named Coltrane’s Grammy-nominated album In Flux among his Top 10 albums of 2005.
The track listing for Spirit Fiction is as follows:
1. Roads Cross (Ravi Coltrane) 5:04
2. Klepto (Ralph Alessi) 7:30
3. Sprit Fiction (Ravi Coltrane) 2:28
4. the change, my girl (Ravi Coltrane) 6:46
5. Who Wants Ice Cream (Ralph Alessi) 6:32
6. Spring & Hudson (Ravi Coltrane) 2:21
7. Cross Roads (Ravi Coltrane) 4:03
8. Yellow Cat (Ralph Alessi) 6:50
9. Check Out Time (Ornette Coleman) 7:26
10. Fantasm (Paul Motian) 4:08
11. Marilyn & Tammy (Ravi Coltrane) 5:42