Ravi the son breaks free

First Night; Ravi Coltrane Group Queen Elizabeth Hall, London

THE FIRST date of Ravi Coltrane's first European tour as a leader was a convincing success. His band was loaded with tightly wound energy; the tunes, largely lifted from his new Moving Pictures album (RCA Victor), worked well in a live context.

Ravi Coltrane is possibly the only jazz musician in the world who could fill a concert hall with people there largely to hear someone else; so it must have been particularly satisfying to have attracted a young audience, and that nobody asked for "Giant Steps" for an encore.

Ravi Coltrane's father was John Coltrane, who died when Ravi was two. Ravi didn't study jazz seriously until he was 21. He moved from clarinet to the tenor and soprano saxophones (his father's instruments of choice), and played with his father's former drummer, Elvin Jones.

The younger Coltrane produced a glorious tone on the tenor instrument: light but burnished. His acoustic quintet played music which grew out of the loose but slightly cerebral approach of Miles Davis's late 60s group, with a dose of M-Base contemporary funk thrown in for measure.

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