by John Sharpe
What is called free jazz can cover a very wide spectrum of creative music, not all of which is as unfettered as the name implies. At the most basic level, choice of instrumentation is a clear limitation, while pre-agreed moods or written heads may further reduce the possibilities. On Given, the second release by Boston-based pianist Steve Lantner's quartet, the two predetermined elements were that the players use the intervallic structure 0146 (a four-note series such as ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
Pianist Steve Lantner possesses the uncanny and, in certain respects, enviable manner to triumphantly fuse free-jazz elements with microtonal inferences and the twelve-tone system. With a superb support structure in place featuring a wonderful foil in multi-reedman Allan Chase, Lantner's quartet presents a study in contrasts, all enhanced with its radiating contrapuntal maneuvers and synergistic group-centric dialogues.
Recorded live at the International Jazzfestival in Munster, Germany, the musicians project lucid imagery as they brew and then recycle an ...read more
by Troy Collins
Seamlessly integrating divergent threads of musical history into a singular style, Boston-based pianist Steve Lantner has established himself as an artist to watch. His third trio recording and fifth as a leader, What You Can Throw is definitive--a swinging maelstrom of lyrically disjointed melodies and abstruse rhythms.
Lantner is joined by his regular rhythm section, featuring Joe Morris on upright bass and Luther Gray on drums. Heavyweights of the Boston free jazz scene, Lantner, Morris and Gray have ...read more
by Chris May
There are times, during the loping, rollicking New Routine" which opens this album by pianist Steve Lantner's trio, that it sounds, and even more emphatically, feels like you are listening to one of pianist/composer Thelonious Monk's great trios of the early 1950s--shades of Blue Monk," Bemsha Swing" and Little Rootie Tootie" jostle, accommodate and morph into each other, fresh-hewn and vigorous. The Monkish traces extend beyond the off-kilter theme and Lantner's exploration of it, in which consonance and dissonance constantly, ...read more
by James Taylor
Steve Lantner's current run of creative output may be below the radar, but the quality of his recordings is off the charts. His debut as bandleader came in 1997 alongside longtime cohort/violist/violinist Mat Maneri in an adventurous set of duets that had Lantner playing both acoustic piano and a synthesizer set ninety degrees apart [Reaching (Leo)]. Lantner furthered his exploration of microtonalities on Voices Lowered (Leo 2001), where he played two pianos tune ¼ pitch apart alongside Joe Maneri and ...read more
by James Taylor
Three tracks and 56 minutes deep, Paradise Road is a workout--for listener and artists alike. The moods range from caffeinated and frenetic to thoughtful and subdued, with each member of the quartet holding the spotlight for a moment and none outshining the other. Steve Lantner's compositions bring together the best of the American and European avant-garde. A comparison to Matthew Shipp would be justified, as the two seem to associate with the same circle of friends (Mat ...read more
by Troy Collins
Recorded live at the Skycap Festival in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Paradise Road is the debut recording of pianist Steve Lantner's new quartet. Lantner's trio, last heard on Blue Yonder (Skycap, 2005), featured the energetic pianist accompanied by Joe Morris and Luther Gray, on bass and drums respectively. The spirited trio is now a quartet, augmented by saxophonist Allan Chase, well known for his turbulent excursions in Rashied Ali's Prima Materia project.
Unedited, the concert consists of three lengthy pieces, ...read more