Steve Coleman: 'Round Midnight
Steve Coleman (alto sax)
Curves of Life (BMG 74321316932)
Reggie Washington (bass), Greg Lake (drums).
Composed by Thelonious Monk, Cootie Williams & Bernie Hanighen.
Recorded: Paris, March 29, 1995
Rating: 87/100 (learn more)
During this set of concerts at a now-defunct Parisian club, Steve Coleman explored different types of music, among which this Monk standard that stands as a unique piece in the alto player's discography. Coleman doesn't play this song in the usual dramatic way, nor does he try to explore the harmonies in an abstract manner. The organic sound of his alto progressively drags the theme into the dense fabric of polyrhythm woven by bass and drums, in the best M-base tradition, and the melody fits perfectly in this context. Andy Milne's solo confirms this assertion: in Coleman's cyclical conception of music, standards are welcome and are bound to display a new potential. After all, isn't it what one expects from classics?
Reviewer: Thierry Quénum