167

Steve Lehman Quintet: Artificial Light

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
There have been some quiet rumblings about the young Steve Lehman. The New York alto saxophonist won Downbeat's award for "best alto saxophonist under 21" in 1997 and has studied under sax greats Jackie McLean and Anthony Braxton. His recent associations with his contemporaries include bassist Mark Dresser and pianist Vijay Iyer, with the trio Fieldwork. In his mid-twenties, he plays and sounds beyond his years, but what is really interesting lies in the intensity and progressiveness that make Artificial Light a gem of a slightly different color.

The balance of instruments and talented players, along with Lehman's unique compositional arrangements, make for an interesting and unconventional outing which includes elements of free-bop, swing, and modern jazz. The music for the most part consists of odd cadences, repeating riffs, and aggressive solos that work well within the framework of Lehman's ideas.

On the opening track, "Fumba Rebel," Lehman's alto repeats a staggered pattern as Chris Dingman lays down a lengthy vibe solo. The addition of the vibraphone adds coolness to the music and Dingman proves to be a most capable player. The under recorded and lush voice of tenor saxophonist Mark Shim are profound as he brings his trademarked lower register sound. Lehman and Shim are like minded horn players and create memorable horn interaction on the intricate "Alloy."

Veteran bassist Drew Gress is superb; his skilled presence is felt throughout the entire recording and his solo on the soothing "Estelle Teams" is a testament to his talents. The hippest piece goes to the stellar "Freestyle" which incorporates excellent solos, a groovacious alto/tenor horn arrangement, and vivid drum work by Eric McPherson.

While maybe not for everyone's taste, there is a special character to the recording which is laced with dreams of jazz's past but more importantly visions of jazz's future in the fertile mind and horn of Steve Lehman. Recommended.

Visit Fresh Sound and Steve Lehman on the web.


Track Listing: Fumba Rebel; Alloy; Estelle Teams; Freestyle; Post-Modern Pharoahs; Cloak and Dagger; Digital Ambush.

Personnel: Steve Lehman: alto saxophone; Mark Shim: tenor saxophone; Chris Dingman: vibraphone; Drew Gress: bass; Eric McPherson: drums.

Title: Artificial Light | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Blue Moon


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Heart Knows CD/LP/Track Review Heart Knows
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Jersey CD/LP/Track Review Jersey
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Wobbly Danse Flower CD/LP/Track Review Wobbly Danse Flower
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 22, 2017
Read Carry Fire CD/LP/Track Review Carry Fire
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 22, 2017
Read A Night Walking Through Mirrors CD/LP/Track Review A Night Walking Through Mirrors
by Barry Witherden
Published: September 21, 2017
Read Jondo CD/LP/Track Review Jondo
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 21, 2017
Read "In Layers" CD/LP/Track Review In Layers
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 13, 2017
Read "Shifting Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Shifting Borders
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 5, 2017
Read "America's National Parks" CD/LP/Track Review America's National Parks
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 6, 2016
Read "The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure" CD/LP/Track Review The Hidden Notes - Spirit Of Adventure
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Evolution - Seeds and Streams" CD/LP/Track Review Evolution - Seeds and Streams
by Phil Barnes
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Hakos Trios" CD/LP/Track Review Hakos Trios
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 27, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.