Sunday, September 04, 2016

Steve Lehman - Selebeyone (Pi-Recordings, 2016)

Alto saxophonist and composer Steve Lehman has always been daring in his approach to music, using original approaches to harmony and rhythm to develop a unique series of releases. This album builds on that history, developing music that employs Senegalese and American hip-hop, electronics and jazz to develop an unprecedented soundscape. Joining Lehman on this project are Gaston Bandimic and HPrizm, rapping in Wolof and English respectively. Also present are Maciek Lasserre on soprano saxophone, Carlos Homs on piano and keyboards, Drew Gress on bass and Damion Reid on drums. Producer Andrew Wright also worked with Lehman to developing drum programming and sampling that add further spices to the musical stew. Tracks like the opening “Laamb” and “Cognition” have a very dynamic approach with the nature of the rhymes and music building and dropping spontaneously as the aspects of the sound changes. The use of rhythm is further explored on “Bamba” where the music becomes quite complex with an intersection of beats, melodies and words. All of which comes together in a very forceful and impressive way because each of the musicians is able to make their own statement without stepping one each other’s toes and keep the holistic nature of the music in the forefront. The music slows at times, allowing tracks like “Are You In Peace” and “Akap” to breathe naturally, and develop deep, subtle and thoughtful textures and feelings. This album was very impressive and brings together seemingly disparate tributaries of music and combines them into a grand unified whole, flowing together as one. Selebeyone - amazon.com

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