Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

A Pensive, Memorable Album and a Lower East Side Show From Bassist Luke Stewart

One of the best of the ongoing series of outdoor free jazz shows on the Lower East Side starts at 1:30 PM on Sept 18 in the community garden at 710 E 5th St. in Alphabet City. Trumpeter Chris Williams kicks off the afternoon in a trio with Luke Stewart on bass and Cinque Kemp on drums, then at 2:30 there’s an intriguing flute trio with Daro Behroozi, Éléonore Weill and Martin Shamoonpour. Headliner Sarah Manning, one of the edgiest and most potent alto saxophonists of the past decade, plays at 4 with Jair-Rohm Wells on bass and William Hooker on drums.

Stewart’s Silt Trio with Brian Settles on tenor sax and Chad Taylor on drums recorded their album The Bottom earlier this year, although it hasn’t made it to the web yet. Directly or indirectly, the music is often on the brooding and mournful side, steeped in slowly unfolding, ambered blues phrasing, frequently in contrast to a hypnotically kinetic rhythmic drive. The hooks are straightforward and hit you one after the other: dark as some of this music is, this is one catchy record.

Taylor lays down a plinky loop on his mbira as Stewart builds a muted, shivery backdrop in the opening number, Reminisce. Settles enters with his resonant, lingering blues phrases: this diamond is shining like crazy. It’s a great opener.

Taylor’s funky syncopation contrasts with Settles’ resonant modalities over the bandleader’s loopy bass in track two, Roots. It’s akin to a more hypnotic take on what JD Allen was doing with his trio about ten years ago.

The album’s big epic is Angles, beginning with squirrelly flickers from Stewart and regal anticipation from Taylor. Settles builds muted airiness punctuated by detours into extended technique, then indulges in an unexpectedly goofy duel with Stewart. Echo effects over a distant rustle, a little trap-rattling and a solo sax serenade follow in turn.

The trio pick up the pace with the steady, strutting title track, Settles gently choosing his spots with his minor-key riffage. Rapidfire sax volleys over an elegantly tumbling background permeate the next track, Circles. The trio close with Dream House, an unexpectedly straight-up if minimalist swing tune.

September 14, 2022 - Posted by | jazz, Music, music, concert, review, Reviews | , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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