pdxJazz 2016 Festival Presents
Universal Consciousness:
A Tribute to Alice Coltrane
Saturday, 27 February 2016
Newmark Theater, Portland

Universal Conciousness

 

Artists

Ravi Coltrane / saxophone
Pharoah Sanders / saxophone
Reggie Workman / bass
Andrew Cyrille / drums
Geri Allen / piano
Brandee Younger / harp
Michael Stirling/ tambura


Ravi Coltrane

Ravi Coltrane is a critically acclaimed Grammy™ nominated saxophonist, bandleader, and composer. In the course of a twenty plus year career, Mr. Coltrane has worked as a sideman to many, recorded noteworthy albums for himself and others and founded a prominent independent record label, RKM.

Born in Long Island, the second son of John Coltrane and Alice Coltrane, Ravi was named after Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar. He was raised in Los Angeles where his family moved after his father's death in 1967. His mother, Alice Coltrane, was a significant influence on Ravi and it was he who encouraged Alice to return to performance and the recording studio after a long absence. Subsequently, Ravi produced and played on Alice Coltrane's powerful, 'Translinear Light', which was released in 2004.

Pharoah Sanders
Pharoah Sanders possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz. Harmonically rich and heavy with overtones, Sanders' sound can be as raw and abrasive as it is possible for a saxophonist to produce. Yet, Sanders is highly regarded to the point of reverence by a great many jazz fans. Although he made his name with expressionistic, nearly anarchic free jazz in John Coltrane's late ensembles of the mid-'60s, Sanders' later music is guided by more graceful concerns.

The hallmarks of Sanders' playing at that time were naked aggression and unrestrained passion. In the years after Coltrane's death, however, Sanders explored other, somewhat gentler and perhaps more cerebral avenues — without, it should be added, sacrificing any of the intensity that defined his work as an apprentice to Coltrane.

Reggie Workman
A legendary bassist, Reggie Workman is highly regarded as a bass player's bass player. Workman's playing styles cover the range of modern music from Bop to Post-Bop, to Futuristic, incorporating a contemporary approach to jazz improvisation and composition. His uncanny ability to equally understand and share musical ideas with such diverse musicians as Art Blakey on one side and Cecil Taylor on the other is stunning. As a result, Workman has invented his own language of sound and expression as a performer and composer.

Workman has performed and recorded with giants of jazz including John Coltrane, Art Blakely, Eric Dolphy, Max Roach, Abbey Lincoln, Cecil Taylor, Mal Waldron, Archie Shepp, Sam Rivers, Trio 3 and Great Friends as well as emerging jazz legends such Jason Moran. He established himself as a bandleader and composer in the 70's when he first presented his stellar group, Top Shelf. Since then, Workman has continued developing new music arts curriculums and workshops and presenting various Reggie Workman ensembles under the umbrella of his production company, Sculptured Sounds, in the United States and internationally.

Andrew Cyrille
Cyrille began playing drums in a drum and bugle corps at the age of 11. At 15, he played in a trio with guitarist Eric Gale. In the late '50s and early '60s, he worked with such mainstream jazzers as Mary Lou Williams, Roland Hanna, Roland Kirk, Coleman Hawkins, and Junior Mance. He recorded with Hawkins, as well as tenor saxophonist Bill Barron, for the Savoy label. Cyrille succeeded Sunny Murray as Cecil Taylor's drummer in 1964. He stayed with the pianist until 1975, during which time he played on many of Taylor's classic albums. During that period he played with a good many other top players, including Marion Brown, Grachan Moncur III and Jimmy Giuffre.

He also served for a time as artist in residence at Antioch College and recorded a solo percussion album, 1969's What About?, on BYG. Cyrille, Rashied Ali, and Milford Graves collaborated on a series of mid-'70s concerts entitled "Dialogue of the Drums." Beginning in 1975 and lasting into the '80s, Cyrille led his own group, called Maono, which included the tenor saxophonist David S. Ware, trumpeter Ted Daniel, pianist Sonelius Smith, and at various times bassists Lisle Atkinson and Nick DiGeronimo. During this time Cyrille also played with the Group, a band that included the violinist Billy Bang, bassist Sirone, altoist Brown, and trumpeter Ahmed Abdullah. With Graves, Don Moye, and Kenny Clarke, Cyrille recorded the all-percussion album Pieces of Time for Soul Note in 1983.

When not leading his own bands, he also worked ubiquitously as a sideman with, among others, John Carter, Muhal Richard Abrams, and Jimmy Lyons. Cyrille continued as a leading player into the late '90s, recording fairly prolifically for Black Saint/Soul Note, FMP, and DIW.

Geri Allen
Geri Allen, pianist/composer, bandleader, educator and Guggenheim Fellow, is the first recipient of the Soul Train, Lady of Soul Award for Jazz. In 2011 Geri Allen, was nominated for an NAACP Award for her Timeline, Tap Quartet Project. Allen is the first woman, and youngest person to receive the Danish Jazz Par Prize. She is a cutting edge performing artist, and continues to concertize internationally.

She is a product of the Detroit Public School System, Howard University and the University of Pittsburgh. Allen moved to NYC in 1982 after she completed her advanced degree in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh, and for the past thirty years has recorded, performed and collaborated with some of the most important artists of our time including Ornette Coleman, Ravi Coltrane, George Shirley, Dewey Redman, Jimmy Cobb, Sandra Turner-Barnes, Charles Lloyd, Marcus Belgrave, Betty Carter, Jason Moran, Lizz Wright, Marian McPartland, Roy Brooks, Vijay Iyer, Charlie Haden and Paul Motion, Laurie Anderson, Terri Lynn Carrington and Esperanza Spalding, Hal Wilner, Ron Carter, Tony Williams, Dianne Reeves, Joe Lovano, Dr. Billy Taylor, Carrie Mae Weems, Angelique Kidjo, Mary Wilson and the Supremes, S. Epatha Merkerson, Farah Jasmin Griffin, Howard University's Afro-Blue and many others.

Brandee Younger
A fearless and versatile talent, harpist Brandee Younger defies genres and labels as a classically-trained musician playing in the avant-garde tradition of her sonically forward predecessors Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane.

Known for expressive interpretations of traditional harp repertoire as well as her continued work with a diverse cross-section of musical talents, Ms. Younger is widely recognized as a creative linchpin whose nuanced presence and willingness to push boundaries have made her irreplaceable on record and in performance. She has shared the stage with jazz leaders and popular hip-hop and r&b titans including Ravi Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, Jack Dejohnette, Reggie Workman, Common, John Legend and Lauryn Hill.

"Somewhere beyond the fairy forests and angel wings that harp music traditionally evokes lies Brandee Younger's rebellion. She's classically trained, but a typical week for her is more likely to include a jazz jam session one night and a hip-hop studio recording the next afternoon. There's no room for coyness in her music, although her eyes betray a glimmer of mischief when she plays…" – Rajul Punjabi of The Village Voice

Michael Stirling
Michael Stirling is a disciple of the late Master of Indian Classical Vocal Music, Pandit Pran Nath (1918-1996) and a student of Terry Riley. Michael began the study of North Indian classical vocal music with Pandit Pran Nath (Guruji) in 1983, subsequently traveled with him to India and became his disciple. After Pandit Pran Nath's passing in 1996, Michael has continued study and practice of this celestial art form with Guruji's senior American student, the highly regarded composer and performer, Maestro Terry Riley. Michael has accompanied Pandit Pran Nath and Mr. Riley in classes and concerts in America, at the Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas; in India at the dhargha of Sufi Hazarat Inayat Khan in New Dehli; at Diggi Palace in Jaipur; in California and elsewhere.

Mr. Stirling has taught at Marylhurst University, University of Portland, Portland State University, Reed College, Community Music Center, Amrita: A Santuary for Yoga, Yoga Shala, Beloved Festival, for Living Yoga at the Oregon State Correctional Institute, Brietnebush Retreat Center (for the 40th Anniversary Celebration of the publication of Ram Dass's essential book, "Be Here Now" and elsewhere. Mr. Stirling is on the faculty of Lewis & Clark College teaching Hindustani Classical vocal music (Raga & Tala class and private lessons). Michael has served on the Boards of Directors of Kalakendra and Living Yoga.

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pdxJazz is a non-profit cultural arts organization dedicated to curating jazz in Portland, Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. We strive to inspire, educate and develop future jazz audiences for generations to come.

http://pdxjazz.com/

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Captured in 16 channels of audio and three cameras, this show has been mixed and edited by Alan Niven. Produced by wolftraks.com in association with pdxJazz, Portland, Oregon.