Steve Coleman & 5 Elements: “Proteus”

This will be my last or first posting for Steve Coleman depending on how you’re reading this blog.

Throughout these albums Coleman features jazz stars such as Marvin “Smitty” Smith on drums, Cassandra Wilson on vocals, saxophonists Branford Marsalis and Gary Thomas, Geri Allen on keyboards, and Dave Holland on bass.

Here’s some stoopifying funk for your trunk from the 1988 release Sine Die:


Steve Coleman and 5 Elements: Drop Kick

For myself, the “m-base” funk sound of Steve Coleman and friends hits the nail on the head. Beautiful cutting-edge jazz harmonics and improvisation sitting inside the funkiest of pockets.

Enjoy this sub-set from his 1981 ahead-of-its-time release Drop Kick:

Drop Kick

Terra Nova

Dread Drop

Tschanz — featuring the great Don Byron on clarinet!

Z Train

The Beth Custer Ensemble: “The Empire of the United States”

Loaded with various brass and woodwind instruments, this subtle and funky piece rocks out all charkas. Charles Mingus meets Laurie Anderson meets Bootsy Collins.  I keep hearing new things every time I spin this one.  Give it a shot.  Clarinetist/vocalist Beth Custer and friends speak truth to power:

The Empire of the United States