Friday, September 18, 2009

Jason Stein in a New Trio Recording

Two days ago we looked at Jason Stein's forthcoming solo bass clarinet CD. Today his trio hits the spotlight, with Three Less Than Between (Clean Feed), which is also scheduled for release early next month.

Jason has dubbed his trio Locksmith Isidore. This, their second CD, finds Stein teamed with drummer Mike Pride as before, but with the replacement of the cellist on the previous date with bassist Jason Roebke.

Three Less Than Between contains some very fine free improvisation/new thing music. All three musicians are in synch, but it's Jason Stein's bass clarinet that dominates the proceedings. And that in the best sort of way. He sometimes reminds me of Marzette Watts (who had an excellent album on ESP back in the mid-sixties that needs to be re-released) because he incorporates speech-like phrasings without continually invoking the anguished cries of Dolphy in his more intense moments. Since only a few will remember Watts I suppose that makes little difference. It no doubt is the convergence of their musical proclivities that makes their playing somewhat similar in sound some of the time. And of course they are both on disc to be enjoyed. One does not cancel out the other. Plus Stein calls upon a greater variety of sound qualities in the end. And so.

The pieces range from free bopping swing episodes to pointillist band phrasings to sound color collages. There is no flagging or loss of forward movement in the set. The band starts at a high point and pretty much stays there.

With this and the solo release, it is clear that Jason Stein has burst upon the scene as a player to be heard. This Clean Feed offering will probably be more accessible listening to the typical set of ears than the unaccompanied solo disc. All that being said Three Less Than Between is highly recommended as a starting point.

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