254

Steve Lehman / Rudresh Mahanthappa: Dual Identity

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Lehman / Rudresh Mahanthappa: Dual Identity Recorded live at Portugal's Braga Jazz Festival in 2009 Dual Identity features two leading sax innovators—Steve Lehman and Rudresh Mahanthappa—in a stunning performance. Their discographies are synonymous with the current environment of progressive jazz; music that stretches boundaries with fresh ideas in conceptualization (Lehman's spectral harmony experiments in Travail, Transformation, and Flow (Pi Recordings, 2009)) and broad culture awareness (Mahanthappa's unique blend of Eastern and Western music in Apti (Innova Recordings, 2009)). Their bold alto frontline is further enhanced by simpatico partners in crime: guitarist Liberty Ellman, bassist Matt Brewer, and drummer Damion Reid in a recording that does not disappoint. It is a lucid document of what happens when diverse yet like-minded musicians collaborate to deliver cutting edge music.

The compositions are evenly divided among the saxophonists repertoire with fresh reworkings of Lehman's "Post-Modern Pharaohs" from Artificial Light (Fresh Sound, 2004) and "Circus" from Mahanthappa's Mother Tongue (Pi Recordings, 2004). From the former composition's complexity to the latter's intricate shifts in balladry and Indian modes, what is expected from these fierce horn leaders is delivered in spades: labyrinthine runs, sharp patterns and a cerebral quality within heavy grooves. The two horns are animals of the same skin; complimenting one another, not only in tone, but also in playing style, exhibited in the exhausting horn trades in "Rudreshm" as their voices intertwine like vipers in a pit.

But the success lies in the exceptional band effort from all participants. Ellman—also a key member of Henry Threadgill's eclectic Zooid ensemble—is superb where his unique phrasing and staccato soloing on "Circus" is quite memorable. Reid and Brewer do more than just hold the rhythmic line—exacting beats and vivid spots with an elaborate three and a half minute opening drum solo in "Extensions Of Extensions Of" and authoritative bass maneuvers in "1010"—they obliterate it.

The question was asked in an interview prior to the release whether identity was important to each of the leaders in this music. Since 2004, yet in different forms, Lehman and Mahanthappa have been collaborating, developing, experimenting and evolving their identities into this quintet project. Things take time. But it was emphatically worth it.

Visit Steve Lehman and Rudresh Mahanthappa on the web.


Track Listing: The General; Foster Brothers; SMS; Post-Modern Pharaohs; Extensions Of Extensions Of; Katchu; Circus; Resonance Ballad; Rudreshm; 1010; Dual Identities.

Personnel: Damion Reid: drums; Liberty Ellman: guitar; Matt Brewer: bass; Rudresh Mahanthappa: alto saxophone; Steve Lehman: alto saxophone.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records


Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon" CD/LP/Track Review Nine Dances Of Patrick O’Gonogon
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 25, 2016
Read "Close Enough" CD/LP/Track Review Close Enough
by Budd Kopman
Published: August 8, 2016
Read "Conditions" CD/LP/Track Review Conditions
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 16, 2016
Read "Joy Comes Back" CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Undertaker Please Drive Slow" CD/LP/Track Review Undertaker Please Drive Slow
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 15, 2017
Read "Blue Monday" CD/LP/Track Review Blue Monday
by James Nadal
Published: March 20, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!