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Steve Lehman Octet: Mise en Abîme (2014)

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Steve Lehman Octet: Mise en Abîme How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

It's been five years since Steve Lehman
Steve Lehman
Steve Lehman

sax, alto
's last Octet album, so we're now voracious for more expanded material. Right at the start, his alto saxophone is briefly alone, and then the entire ensemble weighs in, earthy yet finely controlled. Chris Dingman
Chris Dingman
Chris Dingman
b.1980
vibraphone
's customised vibraphone is absolutely central to the sound of these Lehman originals, most of which are notably brief and pointed in their attack. At a mere 40 minutes, this is a very succinct jazz album, in the old-time way.

It might not be immediately apparent to the listener, but Lehman has taken the bones of three Bud Powell
Bud Powell
Bud Powell
1924 - 1966
piano
tunes, laying Spectral robes on them. Ultimately, the academic process still sounds like a naturally delivered gutbucket complexity. Mark Shim
Mark Shim
Mark Shim
b.1973
sax, tenor
growls and the leader makes agitated squiggles, against the backdrop (or foredrop) of turbulent flow, punctured by sudden emphatic detonations. Dingman produces clouds of luminous vibes-dust, as "Glass Enclosure Transcription" is driven by a rugged Jose Davila
Jose Davila
Jose Davila

trombone
tuba-line. This bracing nerd-funk is underpinned by the ceaseless scattering activity of Tyshawn Sorey
Tyshawn Sorey
Tyshawn Sorey
b.1980
drums
, who still finds time to tinker way beyond the beat.

Doomy electro-clouds gather during "Autumn Interlude," with its dark Michael Nyman-oid pulse, Lehman and Shim gabbling a conversation in hyper-time. Now it's Drew Gress
Drew Gress
Drew Gress
b.1959
bass
's turn for a potent bass rumble, topped by a nimble 'bone solo, with bonus electro-whorls. By the climactic stretch, they're all sounding somewhat like a futuristic reincarnation of the Count Basie band.

Track Listing: Segregated And Sequential; 13 Colors; Glass Enclosure Transcription; Codes: Brice Wassy; Autumn Interlude; Beyond All Limits; Chimera/Luchini; Parisian Thoroufare Transcription.

Personnel: Steve Lehman: alto saxophone, electronics; Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet; Mark Shim: tenor saxophone; Tim Albright: trombone; Chris Dingman: vibraphone; Jose Davila: tuba; Drew Gress: bass; Tyshawn Sorey: drums.

Record Label: Pi Recordings

Style: Modern Jazz


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