Rhythm People (The Resurrection of Creative Black Civilization) Jazz albums with such pretentious titles, like Rhythm People (The Resurrection of Creative Black Civilization) usually signify bad '70s fusion, but saxophonist Coleman, part of… Rhythm People (The Resurrection of Creative Black Civilization) Jazz albums with such pretentious titles, like Rhythm People (The Resurrection of Creative Black Civilization) usually signify bad '70s fusion, but saxophonist Coleman, part of… Steve Coleman and Five Elements Jazz
Music Review

Rhythm People (The Resurrection of Creative Black Civilization) (1990)

EW's GRADE
B+

Details Lead Performance: Steve Coleman and Five Elements; Genre: Jazz

Jazz albums with such pretentious titles, like Rhythm People (The Resurrection of Creative Black Civilization) usually signify bad '70s fusion, but saxophonist Coleman, part of the Brooklyn school of young-gun jazzmen, knows better. Leading his four-man band, Coleman prefers to give traditional jazz a shot in the arm with pop and R&B accents that, fortunately, manage to steer clear of bland crossover. Credit goes to Coleman, whose expressive sax lines are both sleek and streetwise, and the rhythm section of drummer Marvin ''Smitty'' Smith and bassist Reggie Washington, who keep things popping even on languid tracks like ''Neutral Zone.'' The two rap/bebop numbers aren't as barrier-breaking as they could be, but give Coleman credit: Would any other jazz youngblood even think of attempting such a merger? B+

Originally posted Dec 07, 1990 Published in issue #43 Dec 07, 1990 Order article reprints