Steve Coleman’s Natal Eclipse – “Dancing and Jabbing”

Steve Coleman’s Natal Eclipse, “Dancing and Jabbing,” from Morphogenesis 

In 2014 saxophonist and composer Steve Coleman was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow — the so-called “genius” grant. Appropriately enough, his latest album is a work of genius. Working without a drum kit, the music’s pulse and forward energy come from the long, interlacing melodic lines and an impressionistic color palette. Jen Shyu’s wordless vocalizing lends a celestial air that perfectly complements the loose-limbed nature of this music. Coleman has created a work that sounds like nothing else, yet seems utterly inevitable. —John Frederick Moore

Many of the pieces draw inspiration from physical movement, particularly boxing techniques. That’s certainly the case for today’s Song of the Day, “Dancing and Jabbing,” on which melodic fragments from Coleman, trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, tenorist Maria Grand, clarinetist Rane Moore and violinist Kristin Lee bob and weave around counterstatements from the rhythm section. This music is meant to be visual. Close your eyes and let the scene unfold.

Feature image courtesy Jeff Fusco/Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

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