Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!


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
Clean Feed

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
Clean Feed

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.


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.


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.


comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read "Three saxophonists very different paths since "Propagations"" Multiple Reviews Three saxophonists very different paths since...
by John Eyles
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "New, Notable and Nearly Missed" Multiple Reviews New, Notable and Nearly Missed
by Phil Barnes
Published: January 25, 2017
Read "Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio" Multiple Reviews Ivo Perelman: The Art of the Improv Trio
by Jim Trageser
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "A Sense of Place" Multiple Reviews A Sense of Place
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana" Multiple Reviews Queen Esther: Sings Jazz & Black Americana
by James Nadal
Published: July 12, 2017
Read "The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants" Multiple Reviews The Narell Brothers: Steelpan Music Merchants
by Nigel Campbell
Published: September 9, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor