Steve Lehman Trio at The Royal Room October 18 2013
Steve Lehman Trio lived up to expectation as “affirmed in the jazz vanguard” -- shit they killed it to a packed house standing room only at The Royal Room. It was precision jazz done with total tact. Started out with a Chick Corea tune that established the tone for the evening – we were in safe hands. Then did one of their own from their most recent record, Dialectic Fluorescent. Super complex, intricate, drums and bass superbly aligned, and Lehman’s lines modal, abstruse, engaging. Then a more straight up number of Duke Pearson’s, love hearing players like this switch it up and play it straight, well sort of. More then from their new record, the bass player, Matt Brewer, given a chance to shine on one tune and the drummer, Damion Reed, on the next, taking a gorgeous solo with mallets, creating melody on the drums. Lehman’s compositions are beguiling, sometimes hard to tell where the composition ends and the improvisation starts. Played a Coltrane tune (Lehman: “Yeah, he’s pretty good”) and ending with their take on the song, “Pure Imagination,” which worked on many levels, speaking to the imagination of the entire set, the ability to keep pushing jazz while acknowledging tradition. Great show.