159

Matt Steckler: Persiflage

By

Sign in to view read count
The dictionary defines "persiflage as "light bantering talk or "a frivolous style of treating a subject. Saxophonist/flutist Matt Steckler's compositional style can seem slangy and almost casual, but repeated listens reveal a depth of color, a true sense of shape, and a brilliant mix of the improvisational and the written.

For Persiflage Steckler has found players who know how to stretch the tradition as well as go beyond it. Jazz Passengers trombonist Curtis Fowlkes heads the front line with Steckler, and their sinewy and twisting lines never seem showy for novelty's sake. Instead, with the solid, yet ever adventurous pulse of more-than-rhythm players Michael Cain, Lonnie Plaxico and Pheeroan akLaff, the band plays themes that are both logical and completely surprising.

The tunes—all by Steckler—have the feel of the best George Russell ensembles, taking the modern jazz vocabulary and context for a much-needed ride. The opening "March Nor'easter, for example, is jaunty and playful but digs into a groove that keeps it in the pulse. Steckler squawks on alto and Fowlkes bellows and brays—all over rich sounds from Cain and a powerful AkLaff—but the tune keeps you snapping your fingers, even as you can't quite figure out where it's going to go.

Later the group does a nutty take on a Latin groove—"Episodio pa' Osmany —spinning it out into some other world, one where the digging is down and deep but also headed into new territory. All the tunes have a feel that we've come to know from listening to jazz records, but none of them feels tired or rehashed.


Track Listing: Unknown Rebel; Episodio pa' Osmany; Hitting the Windshield; March Nor'easter; Persiflage; Spitfire; Country Rake Fight; Turbulent Life Seekers; Ring on Delhi; Mallard Call in the Cain Fields.

Personnel: Curtis Fowlkes: trombone; Lonnie Plaxico: bass; Matt Steckler: saxophone; Michael Cain: piano; Pheeroan Aklaff: drums.

Title: Persiflage | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Innova Recordings


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Way of It CD/LP/Track Review The Way of It
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Tag Book CD/LP/Track Review Tag Book
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Hide Ye Idols CD/LP/Track Review Hide Ye Idols
by Troy Collins
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Spavati, Mozda Sanjati CD/LP/Track Review Spavati, Mozda Sanjati
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn CD/LP/Track Review Estonian Suite: Live In Tallinn
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: November 18, 2017
Read Queen City Blues CD/LP/Track Review Queen City Blues
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: November 18, 2017
Read "Ocean of Storms" CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "The Ultimate Experience" CD/LP/Track Review The Ultimate Experience
by Chris Mosey
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Live At the Stone" CD/LP/Track Review Live At the Stone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016
Read "Compass" CD/LP/Track Review Compass
by Edward Blanco
Published: May 28, 2017
Read "Sleight Of Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Sleight Of Hand
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 8, 2017
Read "Trickster" CD/LP/Track Review Trickster
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 24, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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

Please support out sponsor