184

Steve Lantner Trio: Saying So

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Lantner Trio: Saying So On Saying So, free jazz pianist Steve Lantner gives new meaning to the word lyrical. He extends beyond gentle melodies to emphasize communication, and thus tell a story. Lantner builds statements, exclamations, and questions—and that feeling comes from his phrasing. When he's out front, Lantner has a particularly articulate way of putting things together. It's not the pointed lightning stabs of Cecil Taylor or the dark, angular thrusts of Matthew Shipp. Instead, Lantner relies on understatement and a gentle touch to make the music work. And it works. Consistently throughout each of these four extended pieces (seven to thirty minutes long), he allows ideas to unfurl at a deliberate pace, unrushed and crystalline in their clarity. And he's not averse to swinging, either. (No microtonal experimentation here, unlike Lantner's previously recorded material.)

The second remarkable feature of Saying So is that it features Joe Morris on bass. Morris, a leading statesman of free jazz guitar, takes this opportunity to dip into the lower register. It's an interesting contrast to his guitar work, which is dense, pointillistic, and often frantic. Morris places much more emphasis on harmonic relationships when he plays the bass—which means he isn't averse to simple structures intersecting with the melody at odd angles. He's not a bassist in any traditional sense; perhaps it's the altered perspective which allows him the freedom to do it a little differently.

Whatever the talents of the individual players, this is most definitely a trio record. (And don't count out drummer Laurence Cook—he has a wonderfully soft touch on the cymbals and elicits some exciting and unpredictable colors.) But Lantner, Morris, and Cook clearly spent this hour in open and involved conversation. No single player dictates the ebb and flow of this often tidal music. It comes naturally, almost easily, as time progresses.

Saying So is one of the very finest records to come out this year, and an interesting contrast to Morris's excellent trio record Age of Everything, also recently issued on his freshly reactivated Riti Records.

Visit Steve Lantner and Joe Morris on the web.


Track Listing: Saying So; Once Through; Jangle; Under The Sun.

Personnel: Steve Lantner: piano; Joe Morris: bass; Laurence Cook: drums.

Title: Saying So | Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Riti Records


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 "Neko" CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 2, 2017
Read "Not This Time" CD/LP/Track Review Not This Time
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: March 5, 2017
Read "A Kenton Celebration" CD/LP/Track Review A Kenton Celebration
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks" CD/LP/Track Review Marching Song Volumes 1 & 2 Plus Bonus Tracks
by Roger Farbey
Published: May 31, 2017
Read "The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture" CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 13, 2017
Read "Tales & Tones" CD/LP/Track Review Tales & Tones
by Jerome Wilson
Published: April 1, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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