135

The Stein Brothers Quintet: Quixotic

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
The Stein Brothers Quintet: Quixotic The debut release of the Stein Brothers—Asher on alto sax and Alex on tenor—offers a journey into the bop universe, as defined and structured about fifty years ago. It is done in such a joyful and elegant manner, with remarkable conviction and proficiency in bop's rich musical language, that its anachronistic styling can be forgiven.

The Stein brothers—natives of New Jersey—have studied with bop methodologist and highly appreciated educator Barry Harris, and accordingly draw their inspiration from bebop pioneers such as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, and Thelonious Monk. Still, they stay loyal to Harris' gentler approach to interpretation. Along with another Harris disciple Harlem native pianist Mferghu, the group also features Brooklyn-based bassist Doug Largent and Queens-based drummer Joe Blaxx.

The opening title tune, penned by Asher, demonstrates the Stein Brothers' gentle approach, as do other tracks on the album. There is a steady swing feel that leaves the soloists—all the band members—enough space to alternate between Latin-tinged and straight bop time. The cover of Barry Harris' catchy "And So I Love You," features gentle interplay between the Stein Brothers and guests—trumpeter Duane Eubanks and trombonist Jonathan Voltzok. The cover of Gershwin's ballad "Embraceable You" features Alex and Asher taking turns while exploring the melody, with Alex's breathy phrasing clearly referencing the romantic timbre of Ben Webster.

Other tunes feature a more sophisticated approach. Pianist Mferghu's "Midlife Crisis" brings the quintet into hard-bop territory and is used as a vehicle for the fast interplay of Mferghu and the Steins' horns, blending beautifully with Voltzok's trombone. Asher's tight rearrangement of the chord changes of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation" for his own "Charmed Quark" features the quintet again, with Voltzok trading relaxed solos over the theme. Alex's rearrangement of "Cherokee" for his own "Trailblazer" provides a platform for a friendly sax duel; both brothers articulate their solos in a convincing manner. The standard "This Time the Dreams on Me" concludes this fine demonstration of the complexities of the bop lexicon through a series of fast and brief solos.


Track Listing: Quixotic; And So I Love You; Jammin' At The JCT; Embraceable You; Eve's Drop; Midlife Crisis; East of The Sun; Mr. QC; Charmed Quark; Trailblazer; You've Been Had; This Time The Dreams On Me.

Personnel: Asher Stein: alto saxophone; Alex Stein: tenor saxophone; Mferghu: piano; Doug Largent: bass; Joe Blaxx: drums.

Title: Quixotic | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Jazzed Media


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Antenna" CD/LP/Track Review Antenna
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 22, 2016
Read "Havana Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Havana Blue
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 13, 2016
Read "Supreme" CD/LP/Track Review Supreme
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Hark The Herald" CD/LP/Track Review Hark The Herald
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 6, 2016
Read "Sonic Cinema" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Cinema
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey Baker’s Showplace Lounge" CD/LP/Track Review Hot Coffey in the D – Burnin' at Morey...
by Doug Collette
Published: January 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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