Biography All Music Guide
All Music Guide:
Saxophonist Ravi Coltrane is the son of John and Alice Coltrane. John Coltrane passed away when Ravi was two. While he had a musical upbringing by his mother and began playing fairly early, he did not commence a jazz vocation until he was in his early twenties. Coltrane was able to hone his chops playing with Elvin Jones' group before meeting Steve Coleman and Graham Haynes. Coltrane became a member of the M-Base consortium of artists and signed to RCA in 1997 (which lists Coleman on its roster as well). Coleman produced and guested on Ravi's first recording, Moving Pictures (1998), as did trumpeter Ralph Alessi. The critical comparisons were inevitable, but Coltrane seemed to see this coming before he ever recorded a note. Coltrane's tone on tenor (he plays some soprano, too) is more reminiscent of Joe Henderson's -- though his father's sound is slightly evident -- and in covering "Inner Urge" on his debut, he made it impossible to deny. Coltrane recorded a second album in 2000, From the Round Box, that was received even more warmly than his debut and featured contributions from Alessi again and pianist Geri Allen. He covered Thelonious Monk, Ornette Coleman, and Wayne Shorter while adding a pair of his own tunes. His father's influence is a bit more evident here, but, nonetheless, Coltrane proved he was working his sound out for himself. By the time he released 2002's Mad 6, Coltrane had firmly established himself as an ego-free and forward-thinking jazz musician with a strong musical identity influenced by, but set apart from, his father's legacy. This impression was only reinforced on such releases as 2005's In Flux and 2009's Blending Times. In 2012, Coltrane delivered the Joe Lovano-produced Spirit Fiction.