David Lackner: Chapter One (2006)
Chapter One is sort of a diamond in the rough. It has many unique and exciting moments that, however, do not coalesce into a perfect whole. Lackner proves to be an accomplished composer with his own unique sound and, despite the repetition of some themes throughout his compositions, there remains enough variability to maintain interest. He is also a talented arranger, as heard on the two standards.
As a saxophonist he has almost a unique sound, with his soprano bearing the strong influence of Wayne Shorter and his alto more individual, showing hints of Sonny Criss and Art Pepper.
On this recording he has surrounded himself with talented and accomplished musicians and, although he is inexperienced as a leader, he is able to maintain his own with the likes of pianist Jim Ridl, who shines the most among his sidemen. Ridl leads the others in the rhythm section in providing solid support to the frontline of Lackner and, occasionally, trumpeter George Rabbai.
The improvised solos are interesting and logical despite not being very adventurous. Although far from a masterpiece, this is a solid debut by a talented new voice in jazz and hints to the beginning of a great career, from whom the second chapter will be eagerly anticipated.
Track Listing: Fission; Three for DDB; Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise; Something for Free; Minor Rash; Cherokee; Belt of Asteroids; Ell-Sin-Larry; Magna Carta Song.
Personnel: David Lackner: alto and soprano saxophone; George Rabbai: trumpet and flugelhorn; Jim Ridl: piano; Steve Varner: bass; Jim Miller: drums.
Record Label: Dreambox Media