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Tag: Chris Coles

‘Nine Lives,’ Chris Coles’ Magnum Opus, Gets New Life

Chris Coles

After my freelance music gig for a newspaper in Erie, Pennsylvania had vanished in 2020 and I had moved to Cleveland, I resolved to document the local jazz scene, one that was all but ignored by media outlets in northeast Ohio. Good people making interesting music is catnip to a culture reporter, and I found a subject right away.

This was Chris Coles whose “Nine Lives” project became the first post in my documentary project covering the local scene. That was November 2021. Now, 30 months later “Nine Lives” is back for a performance Friday at Tri-C. And just like a familiar melody that is transformed by a master improvisor, Coles’ magnum opus returns reimagined as a new work.

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Countdown: Where To Go & What To Hear In NEO May 9-15

Tommy Lehman

Friendly experiencers,

It’s Thursday and the Countdown is back on its normal schedule. Order has been restored. The concert lineup was thinned a bit by the cancellation of the Christian Sands gig at The Treelawn, but just look at the variety of offerings below: a big band session with vocalist, hard-blowing sextet and a free improv legend. Who says the NEO scene is one-dimensional?

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Roll Call: Recent Recordings By NEO Artists

One of the great pleasures of this project is the opportunity to do a weekly temperature check of the NEO scene., with a focus on live performance where it surely belongs. No performances, no scene, right?

But NEO artists have lately been as active in the studios as they are on the area’s stages and bandstands. That’s a good thing, too. Some projects have been covered here, including Work and Song, the exultant live recording by Alla Boara made at BOP STOP last July, Lucas Kadish’s Tundra, which was a big part of this entry from 2023, and the forthcoming recording laid down two weeks ago by the Third Law Collective wsg Russ Johnson, a project I profiled here. A few more will get the in-depth treatment in future posts here and at All About Jazz.

Still it’s been a while since let’s call this has called the roll on recordings, and given the spring shower of recent releases, now’s the time.

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Collective Action: The Third Law Collective Records Saturday

Third Law Collective

The last year or so has seen an explosion of recordings by Cleveland improvising artists such as Kent Engelhardt and Stephen Enos, Kevin Martinez’s Reclamation Band, Alla Boara, Bobby Selvaggio, TRIAD, a new project by Dominick Farinacci (more about that one soon) and a forthcoming Cleveland Jazz Orchestra anniversary release.

Into this hive of activity by established artists comes an ambitious live recording date Saturday night by a band that is scarcely more than a year old. Youthful overreach? Not when the band is the Third Law, the composers collective that is a veritable all-ages writers room for some of the most interesting large ensemble jazz being made around here.

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Countdown: Where To Go & What To Hear In NEO April 18-25

Friendly experiencers,

A reaction to a COVID booster swamped my Tuesday preview (staying healthy is making me sick!) and a badly timed security certificate expiration wiped out my Wednesday. So to make up, it’s time for an expanded Thursday Countdown–not that I needed an excuse because the coming week is high-key loaded with notable jazz events. Touring artists and local luminaries alike await your appreciative ears and enthusiastic applause. So take a portion of that tax refund check (you DID get those done, right?) and head out to a club or concert hall near you and make the momentum happen.

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