Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

6

Steve Lehman: Mise en Abîme

Hrayr Attarian By

Sign in to view read count
Saxophonist Steve Lehman's 12th release as a leader/co-leader and his second one with an octet Mise en Abime is a cohesive work of intriguingly cerebral and dramatic nature. Like the title implies there are concepts that repeat, amplify and fade in the process of constructing and deconstructing the main themes of the album.

On "Codes: Brice Wassy" vibraphonist Chris Dingman's sparse, deeply resonant strikes buoy Lehman's brisk and pensive alto that serves as an intro to this exquisitely composed piece. Trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson's clean, burnished tone echoes and embellishes the refrains of the ensemble out of which it emerges with graceful agility. Finlayson bows out to Lehman who adds a vibrant lyricism as he leads the group in a provocative interpretation of the melody. Tenorist Mark Shim expands seamlessly on Lehman's harmonic ideas in a spontaneous monologue, as the ensemble improvisation grows delightfully chaotic around him.

This superb camaraderie among the band members is much more than a showcase of technical prowess. Together they imbue the record with a raw passion and haunting mysticism. "Chimer/Luchini" features Dingman's mallets' crystalline cascade tumbling mesmerizingly over bassist Drew Gress's elegant reverberations and drummer Tyshawn Sorey's thrilling thunderous beats.

Similarly on the complex and captivating "Autumn Interlude," the rhythm trio's percolating rumble alternates with the brass section's spirited vamps and the saxophonists' ardent, angular extemporized duet. Trombonist Tim Albright's and tubist Jose Davila's bottom heavy sound makes for a stimulating contrast with Lehman and Shim's nimble, acerbic rapid-fire phrases. Solemn bells conclude the track on a contemplative note.

The restless and explorative "Glass Enclosure Transcription" opens with Finlayson blowing high his bright horn over darkly hued textures. Albright and Shim alternate gritty, growling soliloquys as Dingman's bars shimmer through the beguilingly murky sonic melee. Finlayson, Shim and Albright engage in a thoughtful conversation that unravels the fabric of the tune "clearing" the way to Lehman's intense and intelligent solo.

This multilayered and challenging disc is uncompromisingly intellectual yet surprisingly accessible. It makes for a uniquely rewarding and enriching listening experience and is a testament to Lehman's ingenious creativity and superlative musicianship.

Track Listing: Segregated and Sequential; 13 Colors; Glass Enclosure Transcription; Codes: Brice Wassy; Autumn Interlude; Beyond All Limits; Chimer/Luchini; Parisian Thoroughfare Transcription.

Personnel: Steve Lehman: alto saxophone, electronics; Mark Shim: tenor saxophone; Jonathan Finlayson: trumpet; Tim Albright: trombone; Chris Dingman: vibraphone; Jose Davila: tuba; Drew Gress: bass; Tyshawn Sorey: drums.

Title: Mise en Abîme | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Pi Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Baby It's Cold Outside CD/LP/Track Review Baby It's Cold Outside
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Wrong Turns And Dead Ends CD/LP/Track Review Wrong Turns And Dead Ends
by Mark Sullivan
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Lavaman CD/LP/Track Review Lavaman
by Mark Corroto
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32 CD/LP/Track Review Paimon: Book of Angels Volume 32
by Don Phipps
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Bad Hombre CD/LP/Track Review Bad Hombre
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Aladdin's Dream CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "The Truth" CD/LP/Track Review The Truth
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Forage" CD/LP/Track Review Forage
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read "Beginnings" CD/LP/Track Review Beginnings
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "For Free" CD/LP/Track Review For Free
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 13, 2017
Read "The Pauper And The Magician" CD/LP/Track Review The Pauper And The Magician
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 17, 2017
Read "92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House" CD/LP/Track Review 92 Years Young: Jammin' At The Gibbs House
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 3, 2017

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!