British-born bassist Orlando le Fleming moved to New York in 2003 and has established himself as a sideman to a host of top-flight musicians including Billy Cobham, Jimmy Cobb and David Sanchez. From Brooklyn With Love is le Fleming's debut as leadera live album of his original compositions, recorded at Freddy's Backroom in Brooklyn in late-November 2009.
The album opens with the crystal clear guitar chords of Lage Lund on "False Dilemma." Lund's playing throughout the album is exceptionalit's relaxed and seemingly effortless but always spot-on. Whether playing lead lines or rhythm parts Lund creates the most atmospheric and engaging music on the albumhis solo opening to "Enchantress" is particularly affecting. Le Fleming takes his own solos effectivelyhis introduction to "From Brooklyn With Love" is strong and precise as is his opening duet with drummer Antonio Sanchez on "Rummaging for Significance"but for the most part he remains in the background, delivering a solid rhythmic foundation for his fellow musicians. Sanchez makes the most of the space afforded to him by le Fleming's bass work to deliver some inventive percussion.
From Brooklyn With Love was recorded in performance, but little of the atmosphere of a live gig makes it onto the finished album. There is some audience response to one or two solos, such as Sanchez' drum solo on "False Dilemma," and a smattering of applause at the end of some tunes, but no sense of audience-band interaction other than this. While the musical quality is generally very high there are occasions when the sound lacks claritya problem that affects Will Vinson's alto in particular and lessens the impact of his otherwise fine solo on "Deceptive Lizard."
Despite the occasional sound problemsand with recognition that sound quality in the recording of live performances is often a challengethe album offers plenty of evidence for the talents of the quartet of musicians. Le Fleming is clearly a skilled bassist and there is enough invention and creativity in these six tunes to show his potential as a composer. From Brooklyn With Love is a promising first album as leader and augurs well for le Fleming's future in that role.
False Dilemma; From Brooklyn With Love; Inevitably; Rummaging For Significance; Enchantress; Deceptive Lizard.
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