Michelle Coltrane, “Moment’s Notice,” from Awakening Michelle Coltrane descends from jazz royalty, the only daughter of…
Michelle Coltrane, “Moment’s Notice,” from Awakening
Michelle Coltrane descends from jazz royalty, the only daughter of harpist/keyboardist Alice Coltrane and the stepdaughter of saxophone legend John. Yet despite her esteemed pedigree, she was a relative late-comer to jazz performance, working first as the manager of a dance company before taking up the mantle of a full-time singer in her adulthood. (She released her debut album in her mid-30s.) We should be glad she made the leap.
Michelle is a vocalist of uncommon grace and precision, with a penchant for unspooling lyrics in long, luxurious phrases that blur the contours of rhythm and time. “Moment’s Notice,” a track penned by her stepfather in 1957, is the cornerstone of her new album, Awakening, and it's a prime example of Michelle’s gift for rhythmic acuity. “Love can come at a moment’s notice/My heart is open to take a chance and see," she sings, and the lyrics practically hover between beats. Elsewhere, she flashes considerable vocal prowess, scatting in tight unison with a tumbling, angular piano solo. Her clean, logical rhythms hold steadfast despite the solo's dizzying intricacy and skittering momentum — a trait that must surely run in the family.