The Mancy of Sound
Label: Pi Recordings
Saxophonist Steve Coleman has long pushed against traditional boundaries with musical experiments as ambitious as they are listenable. With the mesmerizing Mancy, the composer finds inspiration in both the cycles of nature and the spiritual traditions of West Africa's Yoruba people. Sound heady? Believe it. But as Coleman and his band dig into these cyclical, repetitious instrumental patterns (many complemented by Jen Shyu's vocalizations), the album's weaving lines are disarming, lyrical and wholly mesmerizing. It's among 2011's most ambitious releases, and most successful.