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Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore: Three Kinds of Happiness

Glenn Astarita By

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Track review of "Little Bird"

Locksmith Isidore's third release is a study in improvisational and composition-based contrasts. Led by bass clarinetist Jason Stein, the program is underscored by a frothy outlook amid temperate interludes and more than enough pop, snap and fluid progressions. Other than his inventive soloing jaunts, Stein communicates a keen jazz vernacular, molding conventional jazz fare with a nouveau slant. These compelling attributes radiate on "Little Bird."

Stein launches the ballad with subtle phrasings, entrenched in a soul-stirring gait. He delves into the classic ballad framework, gushing with articulate melody-making. Moreover, subliminal traces of pianist Erroll Garner's timeless masterpiece "Misty," come to mind.

With sweet overtones, Stein tears apart the primary theme during the bridge. Essentially, he is priming for the kill. Moving forward, the clarinetist injects a raspy-toned lining into the mix and ventures into the freer realm as the rhythm section accelerates the pulse, the trio then taking it back down to the melancholic theme for the finale. Stein's multihued stylizations yield gratifying results here and throughout.

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