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  • Jonathan Widran

COLETTE MICHAAN, Earth Rebirth

Inspired by working at the Village Vanguard in the late 70s, NYC native and world-renowned flutist Colette Michaan has developed an eclectic, multi-decade career as an international performer and recording artist, steeped in the musical traditions of North and West Africa, Cuba, Southeast Asia and the Americas.

Though her often explosive, infectiously polyrhythmic fifth recording as a leader, Earth Rebirth, is mostly a high energy Latin jam featuring a four piece (two percussionist) rhythm section and vocalist Mireya Ramos creating imaginative, free for all renditions of Cuban, Spanish and American jazz classics, Michaan begins the six track EP by placing us acoustically in the midst of a playful jungly soundscape that feels as if she’s calling on her flute to the other musicians to jam out in the wild. As the title track, it’s definitely the most raw, exciting, unpredictable and sonically adventurous piece.


From there, she settles into a spirited mainstream studio setting, interacting with and creating melodic flights of fancy with powerhouse pianist Leo Genovese, acoustic bassist John Benitez and percussionists Luisito Quintero and Yusnier Sanchez Bustamente. Tunes range from the festive, high octane (and intensely danceable!) Cuban classic “Campina” and the slow-burning mid-tempo ballad “El Raton” to a soulful, peppy Latinized romp through Charles Mingus’ “Reincarnation of a Lovebird” (highlighted by the charming, sassy interplay between Michaan and Genovese) and a tasteful, sensual stroll through Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw It Away” (which you most assuredly will not!)

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