Entries tagged with “Jason Stein”.

In the June 2011 issue of The New York City Jazz Record:

From the first seconds of their show at Issue Project Room (May 5th), Starlicker sent pounding asymmetric rhythms and deft unison passages flooding into the boomy loft-like space in Gowanus. The trio’s members — cornetist Rob Mazurek, vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, drummer John Herndon (of Tortoise) — hail from the heart of Chicago’s vibrant underground scene. They seemed shell-shocked and in need of rest by the end of the first tune, “Double Demon,” the title track from their new Delmark recording. This was aggressive and unrelenting stuff, yet the expansive overtones of the vibes gave the music a softer quality, even when Adasiewicz beat on his instrument like an angry man. By the time they segued to the rubato opening of “Vodou Cinque,” Mazurek was working with a mute and suggesting a more contemplative feel. There was a distinctly lyrical component, and a precise, well-rehearsed handling of themes and transitions, underlying “Orange Blossom,” “Andromeda,” “Triple Hex” and “Skull Cave.” (The set was drawn entirely from the 38-minute Double Demon, with the tracks played in order.) Starlicker is essentially a pared-down version of the quintet from Mazurek’s 2009 disc Sound Is, which included two bassists. Here the trio has a more open sound field in which to work; the result is raw but still somehow complete. Live, Herndon was the main muscle, his beats combining Elvin Jones-like suppleness with sheer punk energy. (David R. Adler)


Seattle drummer Paul Kikuchi was among the artists featured by Steve Peters in a two-week curating stint at The Stone (May 6th). Fronting a new quartet, Kikuchi had trumpeter Nate Wooley, bassist Reuben Radding and bass clarinetist Jason Stein on hand for a fairly short set — three separate pieces, each roughly in the 12-minute range. The music was freely improvised, full of motion and dynamic flux, with attention paid to fine points of tone and timbre. Sound is very much Kikuchi’s arena, as is clear from his work with the experimental duo Open Graves (hear their latest, Flight Patterns, recorded in an empty water cistern with Stuart Dempster as guest). Drum heads struck with assorted objects, ethereal feedback from walkie-talkies, amplification on Wooley’s horn, at one point a clothespin on Radding’s bass strings: these elements made Kikuchi’s new quartet a thing of sonic intrigue, with a more thoroughly abstract sound than that of the Empty Cage Quartet (another of Kikuchi’s main projects). Standing in a quasi-circle, Wooley and Stein faced the other two as they wove an intimate yet tension-filled web. There were hoarse, passionate bass clarinet asides, broad-toned arco bass passages, plenty of unscripted duo breakaways and also leaps into guttural, unabashed free jazz with the entire band sounding off. Coaxing one processed note into the ether, Wooley slowly moved his trumpet upward until it was pointed straight at the ceiling — a gesture that seemed almost devotional. (DA)

In case you missed the last one

Ben Kono, Crossing (19/8)

Chris Parrello, Things I Wonder (Popopomo)

Robert Piket, Sides, Colors (Thirteenth Note)

Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore, Three Kinds of Happiness (Not Two)

Billy Fox’s Blackbirds & Bullets, Dulces (Clean Feed)

Ken Filiano’s Quantum Entanglements, Dreams from a Clown Car (Clean Feed)