About the album
Alto saxophonist Steve Coleman is widely considered to be among the most influential artists in jazz. He was the recent recipient of three prestigious awards: a MacArthur Fellowship, Guggenheim Fellowship and Doris Duke Performing Artist Award. This comes at a time when Coleman is at a creative peak, incorporating a lifetime of research into African diasporic culture while also developing new composition methods based on visualization and improvisation.
Morphogenesis is the follow up to Synovial Joints, which was named the #1 jazz release of 2015 by the New York Times, as well as the top ten at NPR, Downbeat, Popmatters, Slate, and The Nation. Like on that release, Morphogenesis expands Coleman’s compositional scope to incorporate musicians more associated with contemporary classical circles: In addition to select members of his long-running band, Five Elements, he has added vocals, violin, clarinet, piano and classical percussion to the mix. Coleman often draws inspiration from physical movement found outside of musical contexts, and in this case, many of the compositions stem from a variety of motions – the feints, jabs, bobbing, weaving and variety of punches -- found in boxing. The absence of a trap drum set results in music with more air and transparency, without sacrificing one bit of the profound swing and groove that is part of all of Coleman’s output.