He’s a serious-minded jazz musician who casts a distinct voice among the horde of post-boppers who are seemingly flooding the somewhat overcrowded jazz market. Alto saxophonist Steve Lehman’s second venture for this label serves as a continuation or perhaps, extension of his earlier solo works for various jazz-based record companies. Here, the artist pursues unorthodox rhythmic underpinnings via multi-tiered structural components and abstracts.
Lehman and trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson offer a polytonal outlook in concert with vibist Chris Dingman who adds a color-coated layer, balanced by tension/release type statements that preamble the musicians’ - zooming in for the kill stylizations. Regardless, Lehman and associates generate quite a bit of pop and zing during these works that offer gobs of stimuli to one’s neural network.
On "Open Music, Dingman and drummer Tyshawn Sorey spawn a jittery dance-like manuever beneath Lehman and Finlayson’s heated exchanges. And in various passages of this album the soloists throttle back pulses, retool and move forward like a militia marching towards its enemy. However, they up the ante during "Curse Faction," which is a revved-up piece that sports a directly in-your-face mode of attack.
Lehman’s compositional pen features staggered flows and rhythmic metrics that are regenerated into fast-paced bump and grind motifs. But they tone it all down a touch or two on the solemn and minimalist driven work titled "Great Plains of Algiers, as drummer Tyshawn Sorey establishes a frame of reference with his strategically-placed cymbal hits. Complex, exciting, and joyously mind-bending, Lehman shines glowingly as a musician who possesses a sure-fired sense of direction, to complement his singular methods of engagement.