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Friday, June 4, 2010

Ideal Bread - Vol. 2 Transmit (Cuneiform Records, 2010) ****

Two years ago, I was more than charmed by Ideal Bread's self-titled debut CD, and I'm more than happy to listen to the sequel now. The band was created by baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton, who was a student of Steve Lacy, and for whom the music is a tribute. The name of the band refers to a quote by the soprano master : "Like a baker makes his bread, I make music...If I make the same bread tomorrow, that bores me...I have to remake it, I have to do better...I'm always looking for...the ideal bread." (Steve Lacy, April, 1976).

The other musicians are Kirk Knuffke on trumpet, Reuben Radding on bass and Tomas Fujiwara on drums, a great cast of young musicians, who show their reverence for Lacy without becoming copy-cats. They bring their own take to his material, from the boppish to the more angular and abstract compositions. Because of the line-up, the musicians don't really stick to Lacy's material or style. Rather, they use it as a springboard to dive into modern jazz, free or arranged.

"The Dumps" is joyful and boppish, "Flakes" has this unusual quirky theme, evolving into a bluesy trumpet solo, "Longing" is a slower piece full of built-in tension, "Clichés" a rhythmic delight with more expansive development and solos, "The Breath" slower, open and more avant with great playing with sounds by the horns, and ending with "Papa's Midnite Hop", back into bop territory, yet gradually desintegrating into a dragging piece with unclear backbone, but the ending is happy, unison and in full control.

A highly enjoyable album by four excellent musicians.

© stef