323

Steve Lehman: Artificial Light & Interface

Kurt Gottschalk By

Sign in to view read count
Conventional wisdom dictates that playing jazz comes at least as much from life experience as it does the conservatory, a tenet so associated with jazz that misguided young players in the '50s began taking heroin to simulate Charlie Parker's experience. The drugs-give-you-soul days have more or less passed, but the mystery of what connects heart to horn is no closer to being resolved then it was in Bird's day.

Steve Lehman
ArtificialLight
Clean Feed
2004

Steve Lehman might be the exception that proves the rule that only years can give you what technique won't cover. At 25, he has no business being the player and the bandleader that he is. He studied with Anthony Braxton and Jackie McLean and his associations range from Oliver Lake to Me'Shell NdegéOcello, with a close working relationship with pianist Vijay Iyer, so perhaps a breadth of experience can help where longevity is lacking. Either way, his quintet album ArtificialLight is a remarkably thoughtful and engaging record, closer perhaps to the McLean tutelage than the Braxton. The compositions are intelligent without losing heart to head, extended without wandering off course. With the paired saxophones of Lehman and Mark Shim and Chris Dingman's vibes, the melodies are assured and out front, while bassist Drew Gress and drummer Eric McPherson keep a steady back line.

Camouflage Trio
Interface
Clean Feed
2004

Where compositions lead the quintet disc, Lehman's new Camouflage Trio recording, Interface , gives him more room to play—not just for being a smaller outfit, but when you're sharing space with bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Pheeroan akLaff there's little choice. The seven pieces aren't as tightly composed as the quintet material, and Lehman gets to bare his chops on both alto and soprano. Together, the two discs suggest a frightening maturity—but then Charlie Parker only lived to be 34.


ArtificialLight

Tracks: 1. Fumba Rebel (5:47); 2. Alloy (8:26); 3. Estelle Teams (4:58); 4. Freestyle (7:52); 5. Post-Modern Pharoahs (6:45); 6. Cloak and Dagger (7:24); 7. Digital Ambush (6:25).
Personnel: Steve Lehman: Alto Saxophone; Mark Shim: Tenor Saxophone; Chris Dingman: Vibraphone; Drew Gress: Bass; Eric McPherson: Drums.

Interface

Tracks: 1. Structural Fire (15:27); 2. Hamlet (5:14); 3. Complex C (7:08); 4. Huis Clos (4:02); 5. Rison (8:02); 6. Motion (19:28); 7. Interface (12:59).
Personnel: Pheeroan akLaff: Drums; Mark Dresser: Bass; Steve Lehman: Alto and Sopranino Sax.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio Multiple Reviews The Art (de Vivre) of the Trio
by Geno Thackara
Published: August 12, 2017
Read Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment Multiple Reviews Sven-Åke Johansson's Blue For A Moment
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 2, 2017
Read Roots In The Green Mountains Multiple Reviews Roots In The Green Mountains
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2017
Read Green Mountain Jazz Multiple Reviews Green Mountain Jazz
by Doug Collette
Published: July 24, 2017
Read Guitars on Three Continents Multiple Reviews Guitars on Three Continents
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017
Read Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "In Jazz We Trust: On The Politically Inspired Work Of Delfeayo Marsalis and Ted Nash" Multiple Reviews In Jazz We Trust: On The Politically Inspired Work Of...
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 2, 2016
Read "440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights" Multiple Reviews 440 Keys: A Batch of Piano Delights
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 21, 2017
Read "Cassette Plus Download Labels" Multiple Reviews Cassette Plus Download Labels
by John Eyles
Published: May 3, 2017
Read "Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD" Multiple Reviews Rolling Stones: Sweet Summer Sun & Havana Moon DVD/CD
by Doug Collette
Published: November 13, 2016
Read "Guitars on Three Continents" Multiple Reviews Guitars on Three Continents
by Geno Thackara
Published: July 16, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

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