This recording and guitarist Joe Morris' Age of Everything represent two new releases on Morris' revitalized Riti Records label.
Based on two previous outings for Leo Records, modern jazz/improvising pianist Steve Lantner's radiantly novel approach contains the stuff that provides the earmarks for a fruitful career. He has recorded with Mat Maneri (violin) and Joe Morris (guitar) yet here, Morris switches over to the bass while Laurence Cook (drums) rounds out this high-spirited trio date. Lantner's mode of execution is rooted upon an understated sense of urgency, awash with symmetrical patterns and Thelonious Monk-like use of space and meter.
Throughout these four pieces, the pianist melds free jazz with a bop mindset atop the rhythm section's swaying frameworks and variegated foundations. No doubt, Lantner is an inventor who pushes his craft to the limits. On "Saying So," the artist's animated employment of block chords augments a series of deft right-hand leads and pursuance of clipped themes. The group dishes out oscillating micro-motifs to coincide with a sequence of contrasting statements during, 'Jangle.' In addition, Lantner performs as though there are two distinct psyches on the loose! Morris executes rapid walking bass lines while Cook maintains the pulse with steady strokes on his ride cymbal and shrewdly actuated dynamics.
The musicians' shifting rhythmic digressions provide alternating dimensions to many of these briskly rendered soundscapes. Essentially, they investigate the free zone but perform with the refinement and elegance of a seasoned and well-disciplined jazz piano trio. This wonderful outing should not slip into a state of secrecy! Compulsory listening!
Track Listing: Saying So; Once Through; Jangle; Under The Sun.
Personnel: Steve Lantner: piano; Joe Morris: bass; Laurence Cook: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid
I was first exposed to jazz when I was tiny. My earliest memory is watching Ella Fitzgerald scat on a Christmas special when I was no older than four. Like many who are from tiny towns, my first extended exposure was listening to the high school jazz band when I was a kid. For some reason I remember an arrangement of Hey Jude they did. My first real exposure was Stan Kenton in the Smithville, MO high school gym. Kenton and the band director there were old friends, so he would play there from time to time. My dad took me without telling me where we were going and it was the only show he ever took me to. I remember that Bobby Shew played Send In Clowns and I damn near levitated I was so excited. The huge sound and amazing chords floored me. I believe I was 13 at the time. I immediately started practicing and taking lessons. Music became a passion and nearly a career. I also listened to Dick Wright's Jazz Show on KANU every night. I can't even start to explain what I learned lying in bed listening to Dick talk about jazz. I met him once when I was struggling to put together a solo for Joy Spring playing in a combo at KU. Stopped by his office and asked for recommendations. He showed up at my jazz ensemble rehearsal the next day with a tape with example solos. What a kind man Dick Wright was.
My advice to new listeners is to stop worrying about what music is important and focus on music you like. I spent quite a bit of my music life listening to important music I didn't necessarily like. Must say I have quite a bit more fun now listening to music that I deeply enjoy. Some of it is even important.
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