Steve Colson, pianist/composer and band leader, with vocalist Iqua Colson — a couple members of American experimental music‘s cutting edge AACM for some 35 years — give a rare performance quartet Saturday night (Feb 6) at NYC’s Thalia theater in Symphony Space. Everyone who attends gets the Colsons’ new CD, The Untarnished Dream, for free. One-time promotion? Start of a trend? Acceptance of reality?
I can’t remember pianist Muhal Richard Abrams, co-founder and main counselor of the AACM just inducted as a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master, or composer, reeds and woodwinds specialist Henry Threadgill, whose ensemble Zooid performs at the Jazz Gallery (NYC) Feb 11 through 13, ever giving albums away at performances, but it stands to reason that the Colsons, whose previous album Hope for Love was a duet released in 2004, could use some extra buzz. Steve, known as Adegoke for many years, has a thoughtful, muted touch, and in Dream focuses on inside-outside playing (meaning he doesn’t often break forms, but works subtle, unexpected ideas steadily into a flow), and Iqua takes an art song approach to lyrics and melody rather than flat-out swinging; they’ve maintained a steadfast if low profile on the scene, not necessarily by choice. Notables bassist Reggie Workman and drummer Andrew Cyrille — veterans of combos led by Blakey, Coltrane, Coleman Hawkins, Mary Lou Williams and Cecil Taylor, besides themselves — give substantial support and play solid solos on the album, as they will no doubt at the Thalia.