Orlando le Fleming - From Brooklyn with Love (19/8)


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Bassist Orlando Le Fleming doesn't score many points for creativity when it comes to the title of this live disc. Fortunately, what's absent in left-field thinking is made up for through audible work ethic and dedication to craft. Culled from two dates at Freddy's Backroom in the titular borough, the disc's six cuts find the bassist's quartet ranging by turns leisurely and aggressively through a songbook of conventionally-structured originals outfitted with generous improvisational space.

Le Fleming seems to accept the rhythm section roots of his instrument and repeatedly confers principal soloists' status to altoist Will Vinson and guitarist Lage Lund. Drummer Antonio Sanchez also gets a share in spotlight though mainly through breaks and exchanges as on the opening loping interplay of “False Dilemma". The opening minutes of the title piece flip the dynamic with Le Fleming solitary for a gradually-paced preface that folds into an ensemble statement and ensuing solos from his colleagues. Vinson and Lund assert themselves through solos and Sanchez makes a comparable impression with a higher degree of difficulty through his support capacity.

Theirs is a style of jazz that appears to be quite common these days, one that's internalized the past while sustaining fealty to the present. Subsequently, the set can't quite completely escape a paint-by-numbers schema. The track title “Rummaging for Significance" hits home here as a writ large encapsulation of the band's place in the larger jazz community of which they are a part. A former professional cricket player in his native England, Le Fleming's always got a second career to fall back on. The consistency of his playing and leadership here suggests that he's still got a fair bit of slack before such a move might prove necessary.

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