Its hard enough to be a musician following in the same line of work as a famous parent just ask Julian Lennon. But when dad was not just an innovator of a genre but a spiritual leader with an entire church based on his music, those are giant footsteps to fill. Fortunately, Ravi Coltrane son of saxophonist John and the recently deceased pianist Alice is clearly marking his own path as a tenor/soprano saxophonist, most recently on 2005s In Flux.
Coltrane was a veteran sideman long before he formed his own quartet (with Luis Perdomo on piano, Drew Gress on bass and E.J. Strickland on drums), which has a mellow, understated style. Smooth, yes but not smooth in the way the word has been hijacked by radio stations blaring blandness to offices and elevators around the country. Coltrane (actually named for sitar master Ravi Shankar) is also a generous bandleader, more of a featured ensemble player than a spotlight--hogging soloist.
And while he deeply appreciates the legacy and traditions of his father and other past greats, this Coltrane is not bound by them. Im not interested in jazz history or holding up the banner of keep jazz alive, he told Downbeat thats because music that isnt dead needs no resurrection. 8 p.m. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. For information, call 7135245050 or visit www.dacamera.com. $26.50 to $45.
Sat., Feb. 9, 8 p.m., 2008