Saturday, August 24, 2013

Functional Arrhythmias

I am not a jazz expert, I admit it. I know a few of the greats (John Coltrane, Art Tatum, Thelonius Monk, Billie Holiday) mostly I think because everyone knows them. Jazz is not the genre I generally seek out, particularly contemporary jazz which perhaps unfairly calls to mind terms like 'easy listening' (ugh!). But I was enticed to pick up Steve Coleman and the Five Elements' newest album by the nagging feeling I had heard his name before and the interesting title.
Well go ahead and call me clueless because Steve Coleman is extremely well-known and prolific, having released over twenty albums and collaborating with many others.
Functional Arrhythmias is a great album with a lot of offer even those who perhaps aren't the biggest jazz aficionados. The theme of the album was inspired by the human heartbeat and each song creates an amazing ambiance using a combination of instrumentation and vocalization which is difficult to describe, but very interesting the listen to. My personal favorite track was "Cardiovascular," which simulated the heart and pulmonary system with a resonating beat.
To be clear- this is not as mainstream as the latest rock album. But for those who are wanting to try something new, something different and perhaps even a little strange I would highly recommend that you give Steve Coleman and the Five Elements' albums Functional Arrhythmias a try.

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