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Functional Arrhythmias

Steve Coleman , Five Elements Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
Price: £13.41 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (8 April 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pi Recordings
  • ASIN: B00B4L2U5M
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 43,684 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Sinews 6:51£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Medulla-Vagus 6:33£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Chemical Intuition 3:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Cerebrum Crossover 6:45£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Limbic Cry 5:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Cardiovascular 2:34£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Respiratory Flow 3:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Irregular Heartbeats 3:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Cerebellum Lean 5:25£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Lymph Swag (Dance of the Leukocytes) 3:50£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Adrenal, Got Ghost 3:05£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Assim-Elim 3:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Hormone Trig 4:29£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Snap-Sis 3:08£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

Functional Arrhythmias is the latest and most ambitious chapter in alto saxophonist Steve Coleman s ongoing study into patterns found in nature in this case the various rhythms found inside the human body and using them as the building blocks for his highly individual musical language. The new CD follows on the critically acclaimed Harvesting Semblances and Affinities and The Mancy of Sound, both released on Pi Recordings. To help realize his latest musical vision, Coleman has revamped his band Five Elements by reenlisting two veterans: Sean Rickman on drums and Anthony Tidd on bass. Together with long-time member Jonathan Finlayson one of the most acclaimed young trumpeters on the jazz scene and guitarist Miles Okazaki, they possess the combination of intuition and experience to capture Coleman s music in all its labyrinthine beauty.

BBC Review

New York alto saxophonist Steve Coleman has pared his long-running Five Elements combo down to a pointed quartet, ditching the trimmings that have decorated recent incarnations.

This enables a particularly hardened cerebral-funk manifestation of Coleman’s M-Base sound. Actually, he insists that this isn’t a musical style, but rather an attitude behind its creation. Just as well, as in similar fashion to fellow altoman Ornette Coleman’s harmolodics method, nobody has ever adequately explained the ground-rule parameters of the form.

Adding to this album’s conceptual heft, Coleman has improvised whilst pondering the body’s inner mechanisms, the way that necessary functions intersect during their daily motion: as if brain, heart, lungs, bowels, blood and sputum were the very embodiments of different musicians.

Then, he transcribed these (usually solo) results, passing them on to the band and forming them into full compositions. These realisations combine studied patterns and progressions with a lusty means of expression, mixing stern logic and limber intuition.

The tight convolutions of Sinews feature cool-school alto writhing on a bed of tensile bounce. A warm bass bulge sags under the taut viscera of the horns, intricate drum cycles locked precisely with skins and hi-hat chattering.

Five tracks feature the guitar of Miles Okazaki, joining Coleman, trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson, electric bassist Anthony Tidd and drummer Sean Rickman. These in particular invoke the sound of Ornette’s guitar-laden Prime Time outfit. Finlayson has frequently partnered with the younger altoist Steve Lehman, who could himself be viewed as a (Steve) Coleman descendant.

These 14 pieces are relatively short, in jazz terms. The horns speck their melodies in fractured tandem on Medulla-Vagus, sparring closely across the tune’s thickly extruded bassline. There’s a gentler spaciousness to Chemical Intuition, which could almost qualify as the album’s ballad, with its searching, questioning quality.

Cerebrum Crossover has a cascading woodblock ricketiness, with a disjointed fanfare of horns using teamwork to assemble the theme, sharing the phrases with a dialogue of construction. It’s a strangely-coordinated procession. Then, the warlike tumble of Cardiovascular makes its chase of colliding corpuscles.

This is the most exciting and substantial Coleman release of the last few years, rigorously challenging, pumped with insinuating melodies, sleek with propulsive energies and pulsating with a uniquely globular funkiness.

--Martin Longley

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A heavy CV workout 6 May 2013
By Steve Keen TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Once again Steve Coleman comes in from the flanks and causes a surprise. Here he assembles three old stalwarts - Tidd on Bass, Finlayson on Trumpet, Rickman on drums - and adds in Miles Okazaki on guitar - initially leading them in a series of improvisations which are then transcribed and worked up into more formalised pieces, all inspired, apparently, by the cardiovascular system.

Gone is Jen Shyu, whose vocals have dominated three of the past four projects, and so is the yin-yang symbolism which dominated the last four albums' covers. Still absent are keyboards of any description.

Sinews opens with a familiar bass grumble and drum figure, which are then joined by the horns. A pause, and then Coleman takes the driving seat for a few bars, with occasional backing from Finlayson; they then swap places, with Finlayson leading and Coleman occasionally jumping in. The feeling is light and playful.

Medulla-Vagus introduces the guitar, joining in a dance with the horns, underpinned by light-fingered bass. But as the percussion kicks in the feel becomes funkier and the leads play in lockstep.

Chemical Intuition is on well-worn Coleman ground, with the instruments all meandering amongst each other without totally hitting a single theme or direction, but both are restored in Cerebrum Crossover, underpinned by some angular, jaunty drumming. A couple of tracks on, Cardiovascular is a rapid waltz (in 3/8?) dominated by tom toms, and later still, on Lymph Swag, Finlayson experiments with mute, whilst the bass and guitar combine to interesting effect.

When this record first plopped on my mat, I'd spent the morning listening to Genesis and The Opening Of The Way, The Sonic Language Of Myth and The Ascension To Light.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant record. 12 April 2013
Format:MP3 Download|Verified Purchase
I am only a recent convert to Steve Coleman's music, but Functional Arrythmias is already my favourite. Stripped down and laid bare compared to both "Harvesting Semblances..." and "The Mancy Of Sound" due to the instrumentation ( sax, trumpet,bass,drums ) yet just as all encompassing and enjoyable as his previous two outings. If you enjoyed either of them you'll enjoy "Functional...".

All the musicianship here is incredible. The band get into big grooves - drummer Sean Rickman is a joy to behold. Apparently Coleman was influenced / referenced the master Milford Graves when approaching this album. It shows, and that alone should have reaching to buy this.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Of Coleman's Best Work! 4 April 2013
By Jonathan Guarriello - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Here we have the new album by alto saxophonist Steve Coleman & his band Five Elements Functional Arrhythmias. In my opinion this is Coleman's most accessible music yet. Due, in no small part, to the incredible rhythm section of Sean Rickman on drums & electric bassist Anthony Tidd. Both of these guys have been playing with Coleman since Coleman's 2001 live album Resistance Is Futile. On trumpet is the young Jonathan Finlayson who's been with Coleman on the front line since 2001; also appearing on Resistance Is Futile. Guesting on five tracks is guitarist Miles Okazaki a new name to me that I'll be sure to watch in the future.

In the liner notes Coleman goes on to say that "the title of this recording Functional Arrhythmias, refers to paths of modulating heart-beat like rhythmic melodies that function similar to the contrapuntal firing of nerve impulses, where communication is occurring in simultaneous but related layers. I have always been fascinated with time-related themes, and this is my attempt at creating a musical analogy of the interactions between the circulatory, nervous, respiratory, and other biological systems of the human body."

All of the 14 tunes on this album are original compositions created spontaneously by Coleman where he would improvise a melody or rhythm record it & then transcribe each part into written music. He then used his composition skills to craft the pieces we hear on the album. I'm not going to try and describe the music here track by track because Coleman's music in my opinion has always defied traditions & pushed forward the acceptable boundaries in music & it's for these reasons I won't try & use words to describe each track.

What I will do is tell you that these new tunes are heavy on the drums & bass & bassist & drummer Anthony Tidd & Sean Rickman are absolutely killing it!! In Coleman's past recordings the textures can sometimes get really thick but these tunes are alittle more sparse with just alto & trumpet as the melodic voices darting amonst the drum & bass onslaught with some nice guitar work by Miles Okazaki. If you're already a fan of Steve Coleman's music you won't regret this purchase. If your new to Coleman's music this wouldn't be bad place to start but readers be warned: this music is not your typical modern jazz lowing date. It's heady music that begs you use your brain & your gut as it engages both your body & mind,you don't need to understand the concepts at work here to enjoy the grooving feels of this album. Check this out.
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars BEST COLEMAN IN YEARS 9 April 2013
By Manuel Grosso Galvan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This is a great Steve Coleman album. After some years of interest CD he come back to a sound more near of pure jazz. He forgot some experiment with african-cuban-bazilian music and regret to his particular sense of jazz. Coleman probably is one of the most influential figure in jazz in the last 20 years, and with this album you can understand why. Elusive and constantly shifting rhythms in a incredible orgie of sounds. Coleman in alto sax is super, Jonathan Finlayson in trumpet is fine and great. The bas and drums are play with old companions Anthony Tidd and Sean Rickman and one surprise, the guitar man Miles Okazaki . Everything is fine and no very complicate to hear. Coleman is a great jazz man , and hear play better than anybody in this moment. Imagination, rhythm, and a incredible sound, this is this CD.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best Coleman album since years 15 Feb 2014
By Aloko - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
No singer on this one, and the musicians are well known for working with Steve since years. Compositions are brilliant and interpretation is stellar. Great album.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional jazz 8 July 2013
By John Gilliam - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
This album is quite incredible. It will take a while for me to really absorb all that is going on here, but I really am enjoying it. It is great to have on while going on bike rides.
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