music clip of the day


Tag: Steve Coleman and Five Elements

Monday, November 2nd

Hop on this train; you won’t want to get off.

Steve Coleman and Five Elements (Steve Coleman, alto saxophone; Jen Shyu, vocals; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Tim Albright, trombone; Reggie Washington, bass; Tyshawn Sorey, drums), live (performance begins at 2:10), France (Amiens), 2005




random sights

other day, Oak Park, Ill.


reading table

gathering dewdrops—
each one
the life of a daughter

—Kobayashi Issa (1763-1827), translated from Japanese by David G. Lanoue

Thursday, September 18th

Passed over, again, for a MacArthur “genius” grant? Me, too. This guy, though, has reason—625,000 reasons—to celebrate.

Steve Coleman and Five Elements,* live, Switzerland (Cully Jazz Festival), 2013

Steve Coleman took up the alto saxophone when he was a freshman at South Shore High School and within a few years inevitably was drawn into the orbit of one of Chicago’s greatest jazzmen: Von Freeman.

It was Freeman, a tenor saxophone giant who died two years ago at age 88, who welcomed Coleman into the rigors of the jazz life, setting him on a course that has led to Coleman winning one of America’s most prestigious and lucrative arts awards, a MacArthur Fellowship. Like each recipient, Coleman will receive a total of $625,000, dispensed quarterly over the next five years, from the Chicago-based John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

“I realized that (Freeman) is a major player, and he’s right here in the neighborhood,” recalls Coleman, who lives in Allentown, Pa., but always has considered himself a product of musical Chicago.

“He’s somebody I consider one of my mentors, but the rest of the city too. There were a lot of local players I was into,” adds Coleman, citing especially altoist Bunky Green. “Even the blues scene. I’d go to Theresa’s and the Checkerboard — everything about the city influenced me, but mainly the South Side.”

Chicago Tribune, 9/16/14

*SC (1957-), alto saxophone; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Anthony Tidd, bass; Sean Rickman, drums.

Thursday, 8/30/12

playing this weekend at the Chicago Jazz Festival

Matt Wilson’s Arts & Crafts* (Sunday, 3:30 p.m.)
“We See” (T. Monk), live, New York, 2011

(Paul Motian, this guy—drummers seem to have a particular feeling for Monk.)


Steve Coleman and Five Elements** (Sunday, 7:10 p.m.)
Live, New York, 2010


Ken Vandermark’s Made To Break Quartet*** (Sunday, 2:20 p.m.)
Live, Barcelona, 2011


*MW, drums; Terell Stafford, trumpet; Gary Versace, piano; Martin Wind, bass.

**SC, alto saxophone; Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet; Tim Albright, trombone; Miles Okazaki, guitar; David Virelles, piano; Thomas Morgan, bass; Marcus Gilmore, drums.

***KV, reeds; Christof Kurzmann, electronics; Devin Hoff, bass; Tim Daisy, drums.

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