Retrograde are Matt Lavelle and Reggie Sylvester, New York avant-jazz scene veterans and longtime cohorts in the Bern Nix Quartet.
When John Coltrane recorded Interstellar Space, he established the duo format of a horn and drums in jazz. He also began to explore how his music connected to the great mysteries of existence outside of planet Earth. Retrograde’s mission is to continue that search themselves, picking up right after where John Coltratne left off; the planet Saturn.
On their first self-titled album, released in July 2016 on ESP-DISK, the duo performs an audacious extension of Interstellar Space, John Coltrane’s classic duo album with drummer Rashied Ali. Visiting destinations overlooked on Trane’s tour of the solar system, they craft a space suite of earthier delights. This album was recorded in concert at Andrea Wolper’s WhyNot Experiment? series — it was, in fact, the last show in that series. Matt and Reggie played two sets; the second set, with Bern Nix in the audience, is what you hear on the album, which is dedicated to the late Mr. Nix.