Ben Ratliff and the Greg Osby Five

Taste a little bit of jazz heaven with a Ben Ratliff-Greg Osby Five doubleheader. At today’s Da Camera event, author Ben Ratliff will be discussing his book Coltrane: The Story of a Sound about legend John Coltrane, followed by a performance by the Greg Osby Five.

Coltrane’s life was wrought with interesting encounters and scandals. But when New York Times jazz critic Ben Ratliff decided to write about him, he chose to reveal the music behind the man, not the other way around. Coltrane: The Story of a Sound tells how Coltrane’s style evolved according to who he met, what he heard and where he was when these things occurred. Ratliff explores the way Coltrane continued to rework jazz, from how his recording of “Hot House,” which began with the bridge from “A Night in Tunisia,” could have been inspired by Charlie Parker or Dizzy Gillespie, to how in later years his work with Eric Dolphy took his avant-garde sound to places he never imagined (and critics apparently wished he hadn’t).

After Ratliff’s talk, it’s time for the Greg Osby Five. Osby is a virtuosic saxophonist, pensive composer and proponent of “M-Base,” a creative philosophy that simplifies music by relying on the poles of structure and improvisation and the stirring friction between them. Osby was called a “thinking person’s jazz musician” by National Public Radio and “one of the few young musicians able to take in jazz’s formidable tradition and build on it” by The Wall Street Journal. Ben Ratliff’s talk begins at 7 p.m.; the music starts at 8 p.m. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. For tickets and information, call 713-524-5050 or visit $26.50 to $45
Fri., Nov. 9, 7 p.m., 2007

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