MATANA ROBERTS — Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres

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MATANA ROBERTS - Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres cover
4.47 | 5 ratings | 2 reviews
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Live album · 2011

Tracklist

1. Rise (7:27)
2. Pov Piti (7:40)
3. Song for Eulalie (8:26)
4. Kersaia (7:33)
5. Libation for Mr. Brown: Bid Em In... (9:47)
6. Lulla/Bye (5:53)
7. I Am (10:05)
8. How Much Would You Cost? (4:18)

Total Time 55:16

Line-up/Musicians

- Matana Roberts / reeds, voice
- Gitanjali Jain / voice
- David Ryshpan / piano, organ
- Nicolas Caloia / cello
- Ellwood Epps / trumpet
- Brian Lipson / bass trumpet
- Fred Bazil / tenor sax
- Jason Sharp / baritone sax
- Hraïr Hratchian / doudouk
- Marie Davidson / violin
- Josh Zubot / violin
- Lisa Gamble / musical saw
- Thierry Amar / bass
- Jonah Fortune / bass
- David Payant / drums, vibes
- Xarah Dion / prepared guitar

About this release

Constellation – CST079-1 (Canada)

Recorded at Hotel2Tango, Montreal, July 2010, in front of a live audience

Thanks to Polo for the addition and snobb for the updates

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MATANA ROBERTS COIN COIN CHAPTER ONE: GENS DE COULEUR LIBRES reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

js
One of the most powerful and moving recordings to come out in the last couple years, “Coin Coin” is not so much a musical piece as it is a combination of theatre and performance art accompanied by music. Its broad ambitious artistic approach has precedent in the multi-media pieces pioneered by Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, but composer/performer Matana Roberts also draws a lot of influence from modern performance artists such as Meredith Monk and Diamanda Galas. Musically Robert’s influences are the diverse rootsy avant-garde styles of Chicago’s AACM, as well as NYC’s long standing performance art scene.

“Coin Coin” deals with the story and history of slavery as told through the words of those who lived through it. Although such a heavy subject matter could suffer in the hands of those less prepared, Robert’s delivery of these pointed messages from the past is diffused with wry wit and ironic humor and somehow manages to never become too stifling or maudlin. As Roberts and co-narrator Gitjali Jain read snippets of real recollections taken from the past, words pile on top of each other in an abstract jumble, but a very real and personal picture of what things were like comes through. Along with these narratives, "Coin Coin" also uses songs, chants and instrumental passages to make it all the more real.

Matana’s musical material on here is extremely diverse and draws upon free jazz, modern composition, African processions, vocal chants, spirituals and all manner of American roots music. Even without the moving spoken word and vocal segments, the musical compositions on “Coin Coin” alone would be enough to make this one of the best jazz albums of the last couple years.
snobb
Wow!NY-based sax player Matana Roberts has her roots in collaborations with a wide variety of artists such as jazz pianist Vijay Iyer and post-rock ensemble, Godspeed You! Black Emperor!(this album is released on long-time GY!BE! label Constellation), but this release is real jazz at its best!

At first this may sound like a mix of everything, but actually the obvious base for her music is the NYC jazz lofts culture of the 60s.COIN COIN was recorded live in the studio with Roberts leading a group of 15 musicians playing multiple saxophones, two trumpets, two basses, two violins, a cello, piano, prepared guitar, drums, musical saw, and doudouk. Matana combines Archie Shepp or avant-garde period Coltrane like sax with narrative vocals. The album's concept is based on slavery's history in America and continues to African American's life today. Sounding as modern as any of today's urban recordings, this music has deep roots in free jazz's "golden era". Announced as the first release in a big series, this is no doubt one of the greatest discoveries this year for me.

If you can think about a mix of gospel, Diamanda Galas, early Archie Shepp and Sun Ra without being shocked - this album is must have release for you.

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