Album Remarks & Appraisals:
All About Jazz - Glenn Astarita
Among studies with new music icons, reedman Anthony Braxton and trombonist George Lewis, alto saxophonist Steve Lehman has emerged as an important figures in the recent shift towards a more radical spin on jazz. Pushing the envelope is a common thrust for Lehman, who historically enjoys working within a tight-knit trio setting. On this release, he tenders a fervent mix of jazz standards and originals.
Lehman's chromatic attack features a sweet-toned sound, often dissected with rippling flurries and brazen firepower to contrast a surfeit of alternating rhythmic excursions. On "Foster Brothers," the trio exercises some muscle for a fractured yet disciplined odd-metered burner, touching upon funk amid snappy unison choruses. Lehman kicks matters into tenth-gear as drummer Damion Reed pushes the pulse with peppery beats, while bassist Matt Brewer's firm bottom anchors the trio for a melody, largely devised upon an oscillating groove. It's an energized bump-and-grind motif that accentuates Lehman's shrewd improvisational skills and personalized approach to complex harmonic formats, influenced by unconventional modulations. ... read more...
All About Jazz - Mark Corroto
Decoding the music of saxophonist Steve Lehman has become a diversion for many a jazz listener (and critic). Sometimes composed with the help of programming software, his harmonies are meshed with mercurial rhythms. When played by his octet, his music gives the impression that it requires a scorecard to keep tabs on its perplexing complexities.
Then, come to think about it, a frustrated Cab Calloway in the 1940s described Dizzy Gillespie's invention bebop as "Chinese music." While "Chinese music" might not be the preferred nomenclature this century, Lehman's music (like bebop), translates well with repeated exposure and when played in a context of traditional jazz covers, three of which are heard on Dialect Fluorescent. ... read more...
Personnel: Steve Lehman (alto saxophone); Damion Reid (drums).
Audio Mixer: Liberty Ellman.
Recording information: Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY (08/22/2011).