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Steve Lehman Trio: Dialect Fluorescent

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Foster Brothers"

Among studies with new music icons, reedman Anthony Braxton and trombonist George Lewis, alto saxophonist Steve Lehman has emerged as an important figures in the recent shift towards a more radical spin on jazz. Pushing the envelope is a common thrust for Lehman, who historically enjoys working within a tight-knit trio setting. On this release, he tenders a fervent mix of jazz standards and originals.

Lehman's chromatic attack features a sweet-toned sound, often dissected with rippling flurries and brazen firepower to contrast a surfeit of alternating rhythmic excursions. On "Foster Brothers," the trio exercises some muscle for a fractured yet disciplined odd-metered burner, touching upon funk amid snappy unison choruses. Lehman kicks matters into tenth-gear as drummer Damion Reed pushes the pulse with peppery beats, while bassist Matt Brewer's firm bottom anchors the trio for a melody, largely devised upon an oscillating groove. It's an energized bump-and-grind motif that accentuates Lehman's shrewd improvisational skills and personalized approach to complex harmonic formats, influenced by unconventional modulations.

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