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Jason Stein

Jason Stein is among the mere handful of improvisers who play the bass clarinet exclusively. Stein leads the acclaimed trio Locksmith Isidore as well as his own quartet. He contributes to several of the leading bands on Chicago’s new-music scene and has brought a vital voice to the freest of free-jazz jams. Stein’s playing showcases an extraordinary expertise on the bass clarinet, which ranges from powerful post-bop lines to ear-grabbing wails in the altissimo range. Chicago writer Neil Tesser notes that “Stein’s playing has a rawboned swagger particular to Chicago jazz in all its manifestations – from the trad playing of Bud Freeman and Jimmy McPartland in the 20s, through the tenor titans of the 50s, through the adventurers who formed the AACM in the 60s, and right up to the city’s renowned modern cadre of new-music improvisers.” Stein moved to Chicago in 2005 and has since recorded for such labels as Leo, Delmark, Not Two, Atavistic, 482 Music, Clean Feed, Astral Spirits, and Northern Spy.  Stein has performed throughout the US and Europe as both a bandleader and sideman and has amassed a discography of over 40 albums. 

Awards

All About Jazz "Best of 2008 Honorable Mention" for Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore-A Calculus of Loss


Tags

38
Album Review

Jason Stein / Damon Smith / Adam Shead: Volumes & Surfaces

Read "Volumes & Surfaces" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


Jason Stein, a saxophonist with a penchant for pushing boundaries, brings his avant-garde sensibilities and razor-sharp technique to the fore in Volumes & Surfaces. Known for his dexterous command of the bass clarinet, Stein has made a name for himself in the jazz world with his innovative approach and fearless improvisation. His contributions to this album are no exception, as he seamlessly blends precision with spontaneity, creating a dynamic and engaging listening experience. Stein's work with the trio, alongside bassist ...

37
Album Review

Jason Stein / Marilyn Crispell / Damon Smith / Adam Shead: spi​-​raling horn

Read "spi​-​raling horn" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


spi-raling horn by these genre-destroying avant-garde jazz artists is a whirlwind journey through the vast landscapes of jazz, where the boundaries between tradition and innovation blur into a kaleidoscope of ultrasonic exploration. This album is not just a collection of tracks, but a sonic crusade led by a quartet of virtuosos who wield their instruments like sorcerers conjuring spells. From the start, listeners are transported into a realm where bass clarinet giant Jason Stein with legendary piano great ...

3
Radio & Podcasts

Jason Stein, Chet Baker and Ingrid Laubrock Plus a Tribute to Ahmad Jamal

Read "Jason Stein, Chet Baker and Ingrid Laubrock Plus a Tribute to Ahmad Jamal" reviewed by Jerome Wilson


This show, from May, features a tribute to the late Ahmad Jamal, plus old and new music from Jason Stein, Ingrid Laubrock, Chet Baker, and others. Playlist Henry Threadgill Sextett “I Can't Wait Till I Get Home" from The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air (Mosaic) 00:00 Courtney Pine “Sister Soul" from Devotion (Telarc) 00:48 Marc Cary “Equilibrium" from Life Lessons (Self-Produced) 5:08 Cannonball Adderley “One Man's Dream" from Cannonball Plays Zawinul (Capitol) 8:15 ...

3
Album Review

Natural Information Society: Since Time is Gravity

Read "Since Time is Gravity" reviewed by Danen Jobe


The concept of trance is one of the oldest in the world. Many older music forms embraced trance for their rituals. One is the Gnawa musical tradition originating in Kano, Nigeria and Morocco, which uses double and triple notes repeated sometimes for hours to induce a religious state while the singer sings stories of spirits. It is played on a gimbri (aka sintir or hajhuj), a three stringed instrument featuring one short and two long goat gut strings over a ...

4
Album Review

Jason Stein / Damon Smith / Adam Shead: Volumes & Surfaces

Read "Volumes & Surfaces" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Damon Smith might be the hardest working man in show business. Free-jazz show business, that is. If there is a performance or recording somewhere in the States or Europe, there is a very good chance his double bass is in attendance. You name an improvising artist and he's recorded with them, from Roscoe Mitchell to Joe Morris, Jaap Blonk, Joëlle Léandre, Peter Kowald, Sandy Ewen, Burton Greene, Joe McPhee, Fred Van Hove and Henry Kaiser. The list is practically endless. ...

11
Album Review

Quin Kirchner: The Shadows and The Light

Read "The Shadows and The Light" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam war film, Apocalypse Now, was released in 1979. After sitting for 2 and ½ hours, a viewer might have hoped for theater management to stand at the exits to hand out pamphlets explaining what had just gone down. The conflict had ended 4 years prior, and most war movies, pre- Vietnam, were straight-forward, America-saves-the-world affairs. Goodnight. In between a surf crazed Robert Duval, Playboy Bunnies, and the insane Colonel Kurtz played by Marlon Brando, the movie ...

10
Album Review

Quin Kirchner: The Shadows and The Light

Read "The Shadows and The Light" reviewed by Kevin Press


Add Chicago's Quin Kirchner to the growing list of young jazz artists who've dropped impressive multi-disc releases in recent years. It has become a kind of rite of passage for a new breed of heavy hitters, these double-and triple-album sets. They are not vanity projects. Not the good ones, anyway. They come from deep pools of creativity. The kind a very few young artists have accessible to them in the early prime of their careers. Kirchner's follow-up to ...

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113

Recording

Jason Stein Quartet - The Story This Time (Delmark, 2011)

Jason Stein Quartet - The Story This Time (Delmark, 2011)

Source: Music and More by Tim Niland

Choosing to focus on the bass clarinet makes Jason Stein a unique figure in jazz. While notables like Eric Dolphy and David Murray have used the instrument as part of their repertoire, Stien's focus on the instrument has led him to develop his own unique voice. The remainder of the quartet consists of Keefe Jackson on tenor saxophone and and contrabass clarinet, Josh Abrams on bass and Frank Rosaly on drums. “Background Music" and “Lennie Bird" bookend the album with ...

51

Recording

Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore - Three Kinds of Happiness (Not Two, 2010) ****1/2

Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore - Three Kinds of Happiness (Not Two, 2010) ****1/2

Source: Free Jazz by Stef Gijssels

By Guy Peters I have a soft spot for the bass clarinet. The quirky look of the instrument certainly has something to do with that. Also the fact that it has rather few practitioners and the realisation that some of them (like Rudi Mahall and Louis Sclavis) do tremendous things with it. Of course, there's also the peculiar, bleating sound, especially in the lower register. As it happens, the latter is almost absent on this third album by Jason Stein's ...

68

Radio

The Jazz Session #230: Jason Stein

The Jazz Session #230: Jason Stein

Source: AAJ Staff


111

Recording

Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore - Three Kinds of Happiness (Nottwo, 2010)

Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore - Three Kinds of Happiness (Nottwo, 2010)

Source: Music and More by Tim Niland

Locksmith Isidore if bass clarinetist Jason Stein's trio with Jason Roebke on bass and Mike Pride on drums, playing a classy thoughtful blend of free jazz and more mainstream improvisation, music that would fit in well at a jazz club or art-house performance space. Stein has a strong woody tone that permeates the recording, while Roebke and Pride create a shifting and continually moving foundation that simultaneously supports and challenges the leader. They play with a light touch that keeps ...

215

Recording

Chicago Bass Clarinetist Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore Releases Third CD "Three Kinds of Happiness," on Not Two Records - November 30, 2010

Chicago Bass Clarinetist Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore Releases Third CD "Three Kinds of Happiness," on Not Two Records - November 30, 2010

Source: Fully Altered Media

Featuring Jason Roebke (bass) and Michael Pride (drums) There are many who embrace tradition, and jazz's recent history is replete with acolytes of a certain era or style. Bass clarinetist Jason Stein is cut from a very different cloth however, and Three Kinds of Happiness, the new album by his trio, Locksmith Isidore, demonstrates just how deeply and completely he has assimilated the past—his own and that of the music—while maintaining his own voice, as a composer and as a ...

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Music Industry

Jason Stein and Ombak at the Camel, 5/6/08

Jason Stein and Ombak at the Camel, 5/6/08

Source: All About Jazz

"It just kind of felt like home, it was more natural than straight ahead music. Free jazz was very modern, everything else was a throw back," said bass clarinetist Jason Stein.On Tuesday, free jazz forces from Richmond and Chicago will be joining up at The Camel at 9pm for what promises to be a very modern evening.Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore from Chicago will be pairing up with Bryan Hooten's group Ombak, which should have a near ...

"Stein is exhilarating, a young master of his fiendishly difficult horn. Stein is a player to look out for." - Chris May, All About Jazz "Stein stands apart from the standard instrumental lineage. Whereas a player like Eric Dolphy or Michel Portal builds on wide intervallic leaps and verticality, Stein (like Michel Pilz, Rudi Mahall or John Tchicai) operates in a horizontal fashion, favoring a breadth of twists and turns more sideways than anything else, woven into a post-Ornette fabric." - Clifford Allen, All About Jazz

Photos

Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

spi​-​raling horn

Irritable Mystic
2024

buy

Volumes & Surfaces

Balance Point Acoustics
2024

buy

Since Time is Gravity

Eremite Records
2023

buy

Volumes & Surfaces

Balance Point Acoustics
2022

buy

Seven Bridges

Astral Spirits
2021

buy

Silver Dollar

NoBusiness Records
2020

buy

Three Ruminations

From: Seven Bridges
By Jason Stein

Fall Dog Bombs the Moon

From: Seven Bridges
By Jason Stein

Videos

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