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 III'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

More Articles

Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read The Princess CD/LP/Track Review The Princess
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Latin Lover CD/LP/Track Review Latin Lover
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Reclamation CD/LP/Track Review Reclamation
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Provenance CD/LP/Track Review Provenance
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 17, 2017
Read "Big Man on Campus" CD/LP/Track Review Big Man on Campus
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 7, 2017
Read "Obnoxius" CD/LP/Track Review Obnoxius
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Old Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Old Songs
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 5, 2017
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Karl Ackermann
Published: December 19, 2016
Read "Sanctified" CD/LP/Track Review Sanctified
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 1, 2017
Read "Smokin’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)" CD/LP/Track Review Smokin’ in Seattle: Live at the Penthouse (1966)
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 14, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.

Please support out sponsor