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Calling Coltrane by Sangeeta Michael Berardi

Calling Coltrane, originally recorded in 1996 and the companion release to 2008's Earthship, is the most recent offering from avant-garde guitarist Sangeeta Michael Berardi.  An homage to the later Impulse! recordings of the late tenor master, John Coltrane, Calling Coltrane pits free improvisation and striking rhythmic instability in a way that challenges the listener to find their own path to understanding Berardi's musical point.

The album features three unusual pairings of guitar and drum set that work to set the overall tone of the album.  Throughout, Berardi and drummer John Esposito work to a fervor to both compliment each other and also push to find the limits of their own playing.  It is in these three cuts, "Thank You, Trane," "Calling Coltrane," and "Wise One," that we hear some of Berardi's most inventive and personal playing.

As coarse as Calling Coltrane begins, there is a salient balance to this album.  With the chaotic and seemingly disjointed feel of the drum set and guitar tracks, stability is found in "Sic for Rashied," where everyone makes their peace with the groove and they give in to some of their most sincere performances.  This is most notably embraced by saxophone/flutist James Finn.  Soaring and emotional Finn's solo in "Six for Rashied" gives gravity to an album that, up to this point, had yet to establish what it wanted to be.

The backside of Calling Coltrane features a pair of guitar and flute duets that are truly some of the finest music included.  Pastoral and refined, Berardi's obligato guitar accompaniment over Finn's delicate flute performance delights.

Sangeeta Michael Berardi set out to create a tribute to the experimental and dynamic compositions of John Coltrane.  Stretching the boundaries of what we understand and accept to be tonal music, Berardi himself forces the listener to withhold his music for their own judgment.  Tracks to listen to: "Six for Rashied," "Three for the Trees," and "Five for Finn."

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Sangeeta Michael Berardi
  • CD Title: Calling Coltrane
  • Genre: Free Jazz / Avante Garde
  • Record Label: Sunjump Music
  • Release Date: 2011
  • Tracks: Trane's Church Wise One Calling Coltrane Six For Rashied Three For The Trees Thank You, Trane Five For Finn Pharoah's Dance
  • Musicians: Sangeeta Michael Berardi - Guitar/Pedals John Esposito - Piano/Drums James Finn - Tenor Saxophone/Flute/Bells Hilliard Greene - Bass Peter O'Brien - Drums
Last modified on Sunday, 15 April 2012 18:58
Aaron Craven

Born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Aaron graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a bachelor's in music education with an emphasis in string bass performance and a minor in piano performance. While at IUP, Aaron studied double bass with Jeff Mangone. He then went on to graduate from the University of Tennessee with a master's degree in double bass / electric bass performance - studying under Harold (Rusty) Holloway. Prior to moving to Winston-Salem, North Carolina Aaron was assistant principal bass of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra in Johnstown, Pennsylvania and has performed with the Symphony of the Mountains in Kingsport, Tennessee, and the Knoxville Opera. Currently Mr. Craven is a contract player (Double Bass) with the Western Piedmont Symphony and is a freelance bass player throughout the Piedmont Triad of North Carolina.

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