All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

5

Jason Stein Quartet: Lucille

Mark Corroto By

Sign in to view read count
Jason Stein continues to curve a niche in the jazz world, but it's not what you might assume. Listeners straightaway assume that he is an idiosyncratic outlier because his sole instrument is the bass clarinet. We've grown accustomed to saxophonists like Eric Dolphy and David Murray doubling on the bass clarinet. Stein's constancy to this one woodwind instrument, like Germany's Rudi Mahal, is unequivocal, yet the sound of the instrument doesn't define his trajectory.

Stein plots an unconventional and idiosyncratic path with his quartet. A path tread by the original voices of Thelonious Monk and Lennie Tristano. Like their previous release The Story This Time (Delmark, 2011), the music covers music by the aforementioned giants and their followers, plus three originals by Stein. Joining the bass clarinetist is saxophonist Keefe Jackson and fellow Chicago stalwart, bassist Joshua Abrams. Drummer Frank Rosaly (now living in Europe) is replaced here by Tom Rainey.

The Tristano connection is heard on two covers, "April" and "Wom," plus music by his disciple Warne Marsh, "Marshmallow." The Stein/Jackson combination recalls the Marsh/Lee Konitz adaptations. Stein's original composition "Halls And Rooms" uses that partnership as a jumping off point, before taking us down a twisting road, saxophone and bass clarinet incited by Rainey's chattering clatter. The combination of horns quickly sheds any inclinations of pretentiousness. Even Charlie Parker's "Dexterity," rendered with Jackson on contrabass clarinet, doesn't get swamped by the heaviness of the woodwinds. The pair perform a sort of sleight of hand, performing at an escape velocity not imagined by their instrument makers. What is unique here is just that, the quartet's expression is not limited by the choice of instrumentation, it is actually liberated by it. Monk's "Little Rootie Tootie" is given a whitewater rapids treatment with both clarinets barking and biting multi-phonic shouts. Same for "Roused About," Robert Hurst's dedication to Monk's longtime saxophonist Charlie Rouse. Jackson (back on tenor) and Stein play a joyous cat-and-mouse game with the theme as Abrams and Rainey dance the night away. This is one dynamic session.

Track Listing: Marshmallow; Halls And Rooms; Dexterity; Roused About; Ryder’s Uncle Dragon; Wow; Little Rootie Tootie; I Knew You Were; April.

Personnel: Jason Stein: bass clarinet; Keefe Jackson: tenor saxophone, contrabass clarinet; Joshua Abrams: bass; Tom Rainey: drums.

Title: Lucille | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Delmark Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
Bailey's Bundles
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Electroradiance

Electroradiance

Astral Spirits
2018

buy
After Caroline

After Caroline

Northern Spy Records
2018

buy
Lucille

Lucille

Delmark Records
2017

buy
Hearts & Minds

Hearts & Minds

Astral Spirits
2017

buy
 

The Story This Time

Delmark Records
2012

buy
The Story This Time

The Story This Time

Delmark Records
2011

buy

Related Articles

Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Contemporary Chaos Practices CD/LP/Track Review
Contemporary Chaos Practices
by Don Phipps
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Changed Beings CD/LP/Track Review
Changed Beings
by Chris May
Published: November 16, 2018
Read We Must Mustn't We CD/LP/Track Review
We Must Mustn't We
by John Sharpe
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One That Is You. CD/LP/Track Review
Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One...
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Cubafonía" CD/LP/Track Review Cubafonía
by Matt Hooke
Published: December 26, 2017
Read "Love & Surrender" CD/LP/Track Review Love & Surrender
by Geannine Reid
Published: June 9, 2018
Read "Reach Further" CD/LP/Track Review Reach Further
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: July 5, 2018
Read "Peter and the Wolf" CD/LP/Track Review Peter and the Wolf
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 8, 2018
Read "Autotelic" CD/LP/Track Review Autotelic
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 1, 2018
Read "Perception" CD/LP/Track Review Perception
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 15, 2018