150

Steve Lantner Trio: What You Can Throw

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
Steve Lantner Trio: What You Can Throw There are times, during the loping, rollicking "New Routine" which opens this album by pianist Steve Lantner's trio, that it sounds, and even more emphatically, feels like you are listening to one of pianist/composer Thelonious Monk's great trios of the early 1950s—shades of "Blue Monk," "Bemsha Swing" and "Little Rootie Tootie" jostle, accommodate and morph into each other, fresh-hewn and vigorous. The Monkish traces extend beyond the off-kilter theme and Lantner's exploration of it, in which consonance and dissonance constantly, and engagingly, rub shoulders, percolating too through Joe Morris' rugged walking bass and Luther Gray's precise, hard-swinging drums.



The shade of Monk asserts itself regularly on What You Can Throw, along with those of such other piano icons as, to take it chronologically, James P. Johnson, Bud Powell, Sonny Clark and Cecil Taylor. At times, the echoes are so strong one imagines Lantner—who remains, at his core, an audaciously free and experimental 21st century player—is deliberately placing his historical influences in full view.



In other respects too, What You Can Throw overtly references the past. It's the Lantner trio's third album—following Saying So (Riti, 2002) and Blue Yonder (Skycap, 2005), on which Gray replaced founding drummer Laurence Cook—and is the first to reach beyond collective improvisation to include works from the free jazz tradition. Reed player Anthony Braxton's "Composition 23J" and saxophonist Ornette Coleman's "Broken Shadows," along with "New Routine," which was composed by Morris, surround just two tracks built around Lantner's more familiar, pitch class sets of abstract mini-modes—the title track and "All Around"—each of which is based on a formal triad of notes.



In a revealing interview with AAJ in late 2007, Lantner articulated the relationship between the jazz tradition and his own, singular approach, and explained that he moved away from the micro-tonal space-probes of his earlier work with saxophonist Joe Maneri in the Boston Microtonal Society because he felt, "like I was hiding behind the uniqueness of what I was doing...like my music couldn't be assessed in any way other than that no-one else was doing it."



What You Can Throw marks another step along the path of placing Lantner's work in the wider context of jazz history, and it's all the more effective for it, providing secure arbors of tradition from which the pianist's innovations can be recognized and relished. That no-one else is doing quite what Lantner is doing has, consequently, never been more apparent.



An outstanding, accessible disc which will appeal both to free jazz cognoscenti and those wishing to dip their toes into the genre for the first time.


Track Listing: New Routine; What You Can Throw; Composition 23J; All Around; Broken Shadows.

Personnel: Steve Lantner: piano; Joe Morris: double-bass; Luther Gray: drums.

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Hat Hut Records | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Kirkastus" CD/LP/Track Review Kirkastus
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: February 28, 2016
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 20, 2016
Read "More Essentials" CD/LP/Track Review More Essentials
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 12, 2016
Read "Very Early" CD/LP/Track Review Very Early
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 23, 2016
Read "Crowded Solitudes" CD/LP/Track Review Crowded Solitudes
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 6, 2016
Read "Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972" CD/LP/Track Review Split Kick - Live In Sweden 1972
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: August 14, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!