Flying Lotus

Flying Lotus

Expectations of a celebrity's progeny are frequently limited to a simple, direct transference. For example, John Coltrane's son Ravi also plays the saxophone; therefore, he should be a great saxophonist, like his father. However, Ravi, and many other sons and daughters of famous musicians, bear little significant resemblance to their parents. At least not enough to merit the comparison. Did Thelonious Monk's piano playing push T.S. to go into music? Perhaps. But what direct impact does that have in T.S.'s disco-minded "Can't Keep My Hands To Myself?" The familial relationship is seldom made in an appropriate or meaningful way.

Steven "Flying Lotus" Ellison also fell into this club through his connection to great-aunt Alice Coltrane and great-uncle John. Similarly, the producer and musician made a name for himself in a different field: instrumental hip-hop and other beat-oriented music. Though his abstract compositions could be compared in a superficial way to the meditative, Vedantic interests of Alice or the late-period modal and free explorations of John, his music was more a reflection of period sampling and electronic music production.

The Angeleno attracted attention by being included on local radio DJ and producer Carlos Niño’s Sound Of L.A. compilation in 2006. He soon after released his debut album, 1983, on Plug Research and contributed a remix for labelmate Mia Doi Todd's record La Ninja: Amor And Other Dreams Of Manzanita. The album led to a deal with famed U.K. electronic music label Warp Records, and he released his follow-up in 2008, Los Angeles. He also contributed interstitial music for the Adult Swim television network, an appropriate connection considering Ellison's life-long interest in comic books and animation. In 2010 he released his third album, Cosmogramma. ~Dan Nishimoto

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