Steve Lehman Trio + Craig Taborn: The People I Love (Pi Recordings, 2019)

August 18, 2019 at 2:47 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Steve Lehman Trio + Craig Taborn: The People I Love

The latest from alto saxophonist Steve Lehman is a daring set of complex rhythms, unpredictable paths, and impassioned solos. The presence of pianist Craig Taborn is welcome, but the rhythm section of Matt Brewer and especially drummer Damion Reid nearly steal the show. All of the musicians are in tune with each other, and tracks like “Curse Fraction” are tightly organized puzzles which nevertheless feel vibrant and even breezy. A definite highlight is a cover of Autechre’s “qPlay”, which translates algorithmic glitch into something more human-sounding (and again, Reid’s frenetic drumming absolutely decimates). A brief “Interlude” feels like it’s peering down a dark pathway, then “A Shifting Design” is a dirty, rambunctious crooked shuffle. “Beyond All Limits” begins with a bass solo before Lehman’s fluttering saxophone takes over; it’s one of the album’s more delicate pieces but it’s still a bit fiery. Just a marvelous record all around.

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