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Live at the Village Vanguard Volume II (MDW NTR)

by Steve Coleman

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9 to 5 09:36
Mdw Ntr 08:42
Khet & KaBa 07:38


Recorded live in 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 musicians to spontaneously jump forward or backward to different sections – even between compositions – highlighting different strata of the music and reinventing the form each time in a completely interactive way. Coleman often composes these modules by envisioning them as chains of tonal dyads that are strung together along rhythmic patterns to create melodic structures, something he sees as an analogue of DNA sequences. The work also reflects his research into the connection between language and music, in particular the early attempts at music notation using shapes and glyphs in ancient Egypt and the structural and functional similarities between spontaneous composition and Mdw Ntr, a transliteration of the writing system usually called hieroglyphics. Coleman’s use of complex rhythmic cycles is a consistent hallmark of his work, and the roiling, surging momentum found here is no exception. Featured prominently is a long-time collaborator, spoken word artist Kokayi, who brings a freewheeling, rhythmically-acute, almost tent revival aesthetic to the proceedings. Together, they continue to push the possibilities for spontaneous composition and improvisation.


released October 29, 2021

Steve Coleman (alto saxophone)
Jonathan Finlayson (trumpet)
Kokayi (wordsmith)
Anthony Tidd (bass)
Sean Rickman (drums)


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Steve Coleman New York, New York

Steve began playing music at the age of 14 on the south side of Chicago.The alto saxophonist studied music and technique for three years. He then decided that he wanted to learn how to improvise and was influenced by the music of Charlie Parker. At Roosevelt University, he concentrated on Chicago’s musical nightlife. By May 1978, he was leading a band, writing music, and playing Parker classics. ... more

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