|"There have been at least two major streams of thought
in this music that many people want to call 'Jazz.' There are those artists
who seek to define their work in terms of a particular aesthetic that is
already in existence. And there are others who are involved in an activity
which, by its very nature, involves pushing a given form of expression beyond
accepted limits. I call this latter position the 'creative path' or 'creative
extreme' because this path is followed by very few, and is an extreme position.
The creative extreme is also a traditionand in the so-called Western
nations this position has been occupied by people as diverse as Beethoven,
Bartok, Parker and Coltrane. It is this tradition of the creative extreme
that I choose to align myself with and, doing so, define this music as a
living and growing form of expression."
|Steve Coleman sees his music as a sonic symbolic form of communication describing the nature of the universe. A passionate researcher, as well as an improviser/composer, Coleman has traveled to Egypt, India, Ghana, Senegal, and Cuba in search of the cultural contexts that have produced the civilizations preserving highly developed and expressive forms of modulated vibration. Whether he's creating computer models based on the precession of the equinoxes, the motion of clouds, the flight pattern of honeybees or amplifying such disparate sources as Charlie Parker, John Coltrane, Santerķa, and Kemetic cosmology, he is assuredly moving forward the sonic science and spiritual practice of the African Diaspora.|
| The single most important thing that you can
do to develop a more sophisticated musical ear is to work on melody and
rhythm memory. The following exercise will help with melody memory and eventually
allow you to enjoy listening to music with improved perception for melodic
detail. This is the familiar song that little children sing when expressing
one-upmanship while playing a game with friends. The syllables are expressed
in relative pitch (and height) to each other.
Try this with a friend: Sing one of the above pitch orders and have the friend tell you the corresponding numbers. In this case the person singing should try to 'hear' the melody in your head and memorize the corresponding numbers before you sing it. Also try using different rhythms.
| Born 1956, Chicago, Illinois
Lives in Allentown, Pennsylvania
1971-74 Private saxophone studies with Alvin Lawson and Jimmy Ellis
1974-76 Illinois Wesleyan University (music major)
1976-77 Chicago Music College, Roosevelt University (music major), saxophone studies with Robert Black
1978-85 On the job studies with Thad Jones, Sam Rivers, Doug Hammond, Cecil Taylor, etc.
1993-98 Private studies during travels in Ghana, Egypt, Senegal, Cuba, India and Brazil
1994-96 Private studies in philosophy and cosmogony with Thomas Goodwin (San Francisco)
2000 Research sabbatical at University of California, Berkeley; India, Cuba, Haiti
|1999||The Sonic Language of Myth, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, BMG/RCA Records|
|1998||Genesis, Steve Coleman and The Council of Balance, BMG/RCA Records|
|1998||The Opening of the Way, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, BMG/RCA Records|
|1996||The Sign and The Seal, Steve Coleman and The Mystic Rhythm Society in collaboration with AfroCuba de Matanzas, BMG/RCA Records|
|1995||Steve Coleman Live in Paris at The Hot Brass Club, Steve Coleman with Mystic, Metrics & Elements, RCA|
|1995||Myths, Modes and Means, Steve Coleman and The Mystic Rhythm Society, RCA/Novus Records|
|1999||Commission from L'Institut de Recherche et de Coordination Acoustique/Musique (Ircam)|
|1997||Arts International Grant, for work in Senegal|
|1996||Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund|
|1995||National Endowment for the Arts Commissioning Grant|