Monday 20 May 2013, 15:08
If there is such a thing as nobility in the jazz world, the two surnames that dominate this week's programme are undoubtedly of royal lineage. Our main performance comes from a man whose father is noted as the most revered and revolutionary saxophonist to mark music history – a tough shadow to follow – but as Ravi Coltrane, son of John and Alice, proved with his quintet at Cheltenham Jazz Festival, he's a player who's making giant steps of his own.Ravi Coltrane (c) Tim Dickeson
Coltrane released Spirit Fiction last year – an album that marked his debut as a leader on Blue Note – and it feels in many ways like a 'coming-of-age' for the saxophonist. Displaying a mastery of his instrument and a wonderful sense of understated lyricism, Coltrane has a distinct approach that is truly engrossing without ever getting flashy; and in trumpeter Ralph Alessi he has found a true musical ally – just listen to their instinctive conversational improvisation in the set-opener, Klepto. That said, and having awarded patient listening for the best part of their gig, the quintet let fly at the end in an exhilarating rendition of Thelonious Monk’s Skippy, a raucous swinging affair which well-and-truly brought the tent down.
And to close the show, more saxophone sovereignty, this time from the Marsalis family. Tenor and soprano-player Branford has led one of the leading acoustic jazz quartets of the last twenty years and the band was an inspiration to Nathaniel Facey, frontman of London-based Empirical. You can hear the young Brit interview his Ameican idol at the end of the programme, but until then here’s a clip from their illuminating conversation.
Make sure to tune in on Monday evening from 11pm or listen online for seven days after the broadcast.
Friday 17 May 2013, 18:09
Tuesday 21 May 2013, 14:39