Sax players show skills, create innovative sounds
Dave Liebman, Ravi Coltrane, Joe Lovano (ArtistShare)
“Visitation” is an album whose songs you won't walk away humming — or even remembering. It is a display of the remarkable talent of six musicians, but it seems like an effort to prove a point rather than necessarily communicate with a listener. Saxophonists Joe Lovano, Ravi Coltrane and Dave Liebman are joined by drummer Billy Hart, pianist Phil Markowitz and bassist Cecil McBee to play six songs, one by each of them. They are called on the cover “compositions that suggest open, rhythmic, harmonic and textural flows.” Notice how the adjective “melodic” is absent. Most of them consist of the three saxes playing over each other for a bit before some or all the members of that trio get a chance to solo. The saxophonists and the rhythm section never seem to be going in any specific direction. Coltrane, Liebman and Lovano, of course, show great speed and command of their horns, but they seem to have forgotten melody and its use. They do create innovative sounds with their instrument choices: besides tenor and soprano saxes, Lovano also spends time on soprano sax in G (rather than B-flat) and alto clarinet.
— Bob Karlovits
‘The Passion of Color'
Rob Garcia 4 (bjurecords)
Rob Garcia's hard work on drums certainly merits him being the namesake of his quartet. His efforts, however, should not take away anything from the tenor saxophone work of Noah Preminger on “The Passion of Color.” Garcia provides powerhouse and creative work steadily even if the voice of Preminger's sax tends to be the dominant sound of the album. His playing is distinctive in the lean melody of “Lines in Impressions” and also gives “Purple Brush” a hefty richness. The album also is a Garcia product because he wrote seven of the nine tunes, the others being a fresh version of Max Roach's “It's Time,” and an unlikely offering, Jimi Hendrix's “Little Wing” in a jazz setting. The titles of most of the songs have references to art and color, a link to Garcia's fascination with creativity in another genre.
— Bob Karlovits
Miranda Lambert (RCA Nashville)
Country star Miranda Lambert describes her fifth album “Platinum” as transitional: She wanted to show the maturity of an award-winning artist who has turned 30 and settled into marriage. But don't worry, she's still the wildest risk-taking Nashville singer roaring through the back roads. She frontloads the new 16-song collection with a saucily slurred lyric about the power of bleach jobs (“What doesn't kill you only makes you blonder” she cracks in “Platinum”) and another (“Little Red Wagon”) that rips a would-be Romeo with a string of putdowns delivered with punkish glee. Yes, Lambert continues to grow. But at her core, she continues to celebrate the colorful drama of working-class lives, punching them up with the freshest country-rock arrangements this side of Eric Church. The way she reflects modern women, complete with risque word play and edgy humor, is what makes Lambert a fully three-dimensional country star. “Platinum” only falters when Lambert leans on country cliches, as when she waxes nostalgic about a pre-digital world in her recent hit “Automatic” and on a one-dimensional tale (“Something Bad”) about wicked women that wastes a duet pairing with fellow superstar Carrie Underwood.
— Associated Press
Is this the breakup album — the residue of frontman Chris Martin's “conscious uncoupling” with Gwyneth Paltrow? How could you possibly tell? Coldplay's music always sounds so forlorn. Actually, with a few dreamy, layered exceptions (“Always in My Head,” “Midnight,” the final 80 seconds of “Oceans”), this is a more melodic, less atmospheric album than the group's previous two Brian Eno-produced efforts. But even when there is a pulse to Coldplay's music, as on “Magic,” it sounds stately. So much so that the kick-drum thrust Timbaland adds to “True Love” seems extraneous, almost obtrusive. The beauty of Coldplay's music is that of a pressed flower.
— The Philadelphia Inquirer
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Classical music enthusiasts have a variety of choices
- Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra takes different trips with Mason Bates, Valentina Lisitsa
- Top-level jazz shows include Monheit, Branford Marsalis
- Classical music crisis: Author says schools today aren’t building audiences
- Mutter’s lustrous performance highlight of PSO gala concert
- Photo gallery: Willie Nelson & Family play at the Benedum Center
- Photo gallery: Moby set wraps up Thrival Festival