Montreal International Jazz Festival: Ravi Coltrane, proud of his parents

Montréal International Jazz Festival: Ravi Coltrane, proud of his parents


Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane was at the Maison Symphonique on Sunday evening to present a sensitive and admiring tribute to his parents, entitled “Cosmic Music: A Contemporary Exploration into the Music of John & Alice Coltrane”, as part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Now in his mid-fifties, Ravi Coltrane, the second son of legendary John Coltrane and pianist and harpist Alice Coltrane, decided to explore the music of his parents to find its essence and highlight their abundant creativity.

For several years, he has played and defended the music composed by his mother, Alice, who began her career in the late 1950s in France before achieving some recognition by marrying John Coltrane in the mid-1960s, only two years old. before the death of the saxophonist.

Despite a heavy paternal shadow to bear, Ravi Coltrane imposes his personality with more assertive modal colors and a more raw sound, but it is above all his generosity that shines through in his concert. As soon as the sax no longer imposes its presence, the musician goes to hide behind the imposing drums, in front of which officiates the brilliant Elé Howell.

The youngest of the group at the height of his 23 years, the latter breathes his ardor and his presence in the quinquet, without offending the other musicians. David Gilmore on guitar is impeccable, as is bassist and double bass player Dezron Douglas.

Last element of the group, and not the least, the pianist and keyboardist Gadi Levahi ensures a reassuring presence, all softness and roundness. Ravi Coltrane has chosen first-class accompanists, he could not have dreamed of better.

Arrived from New York where he lives, the morning of the concert, Ravi Coltrane sometimes lost the direction of what he wanted to say, but the music spoke for him. Alternating between his two tenor and alto saxophones, he unrolled a dreamlike plot that took us on a journey through playful, moving and generous spaces of time.

Brazilian flavor

Opening the evening, the Brazilian Hamilton from Holanda was able to capture all the attention of the Maison symphonique by accompanying himself only on his ten-string mandolin.

Influenced by the current of traditional Choro music , very popular in his country of origin, he not only performed pieces of his own (“Afro Choro”…), but he also honored the elders who inspired him, such as the father of this current musical, Pixinguinha.

With a rather fast and swaying rhythm, the Choro draws its essence from the cross between more classic European melodies and melodic rhythms from Africa.

Sunday being the birthday of his father, who was celebrating his 87th birthday, he wanted to pay tribute to him by performing Frank Sinatra's song “Bewitched” in his honor, which they listen to together regularly.

Virtuoso technician of his mandolin, Hamilton de Holanda knew how to breathe a suave and languorous atmosphere, although intense energetic performance, which earned him a standing ovation.