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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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