Jason Lindner

Live: UK

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Jason Lindner set himself up as someone to watch with his appearances on the Jazz Underground: Live at Small's compilation on Impulse, and that carried through to his debut big-band album, Premonition, with its highly original compositions and arrangements. This time out, it's a live quartet date, and it can only further enhance Lindner's reputation. Also, since it's just a quartet, Lindner's piano skills are right out front, and he is consistently dazzling. As a composer, he's got a penchant for interesting rhythms and rhythmic shifts, and on a few tunes employs this cool almost-Latin-but-not-really sensibility. Other times he evokes the type of deeply spiritual feeling of classic Impulse energy jazz, but maintains his personal voice. These are long tunes, almost suites in some cases, but they never seem like it. The way the songs are constructed coupled with excellent soloing means your attention never strays, even with "Suheir" approaching 20 minutes in length. And these are not just open blowing vehicles (except probably the gospel-blues of "Take It to Church"). They're very composed and sometimes quite tricky to negotiate, but when the piano and horn suddenly lock in unison, you know that these guys aren't just "jamming." There are some other tasty details, too. On "Meditation on Two Chords," check out the way Lindner keeps the rhythm going with his right hand and solos with his left on the low keys. Then there's the prepared piano intro to "Suheir." Jimmy Greene plays great, mostly on tenor, but showcases his flute playing on "The Five Elements & the Natural Trinity, Pt. 1." The rhythm section of Omer Avital and Marlon Browden navigates the charts with ease and authority. The fact that this is a live date makes the whole thing all the more impressive. Lindner may not have much name recognition at this point, but it's not because he doesn't deserve it. Live: UK is nothing short of fantastic.

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