Morphogenesis is the highly-anticipated follow-up to alto saxophonist/ composer Steve Coleman’s Synovial Joints, which was named the #1 jazz release of 2015 by the New York Times, as well as the top ten at NPR, Downbeat, Popmatters, Slate, and The Nation. Like on that release, Morphogenesis expands Coleman’s compositional scope to incorporate musicians more associated with classical music: In addition to Jonathan Finlayson, his sparring partner in his long-running band Five Elements, he has added vocals, violin, clarinet, piano and percussion to the mix.
Partially due to the instrumentation, his use of complex rhythmic cycles — hallmark of his work during his career — are less overt. In particular, the absence of a trap drum set de-emphasizes the roiling, surging momentum that is typical of his work, resulting in performances with more air and transparency without sacrificing one bit of the profound swing and groove that is part of all of Coleman’s output.
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