Virtuoso modern/free-jazz pianist Steve Lantner rises to the occasion yet again. With strong support supplied by bassist Joe Morris and drummer Luther Gray, the music iterated here presents an animated viewpoint, subsidized by the trio’s fluid gait. Think of three musicians taking up an offer to perform and just getting on with it via a navigational approach, topped off with tiptoe-like pulses and lightly swinging deconstructions. Here, Lantner guides the band through a sequence of strutting passages and diversions into a semblance of no-man’s land, where improvisational savvy becomes the thrusting impetus.
It’s a democratic engagement, indeed. On legendary reedman/composer Anthony Braxton’s "Composition 23J," the trio glides and swings, highlighted by the pianist’s angular and crafty maneuvers. And in other spots, Lantner embarks upon frenetic dialogues that seemingly traverse a vast neural network via complex voicings and a maze-like rite of passage. But they turn the tide during Ornette Coleman’s "Broken Shadows," where the artists venture into some sort of cubist or minimalist musical vista sparked by gently drifting themes and tight-knit rhythmic underpinnings. Otherwise, Lantner dances and darts across the eighty-eights with a great deal of flair and ingenuity. Sure enough, he’s one of the premier improvisers within the progressive-jazz realm. That notion is resplendently relayed here on this captivating, 2007 release.