Monday, January 12, 2015

Adam Lane's Full Throttle Orchestra, Live in Ljubljana

There is no doubt in my mind, Adam Lane is not only one of the finest jazz bassists playing new music out there today, he is also a top composer and bandleader. That he continues to thrive is clear on the recent Full Throttle Orchestra release Live in Ljubljana (Clean Feed 307).

It was set down for posterity at the June, 2012 edition of the Ljubljana Jazz Festival in Slovenia, happily. Though this is a rather large group, an octet, playing some of Adam Lane's more ambitious and difficult-to-execute pieces, everything clicks magically. That is a testament to the musicianship of the players as well as their inspiration.

The band is excellent, in a word. Nate Wooley and Susana Santos Silva are on trumpets, Reut Regev on trombone, David Bindman on tenor and soprano, Avram Fefer on alto, Matt Bauder on baritone, Igal Foni on drums and of course Adam on bass. There is a good deal of solo prowess, the looseness that makes it all swing and cohesive ensemble playing, as you might have suspected by such a lineup.

Six intriguing Lane composition-arrangements get fully focused and exuberant treatment, with space for freedom in collective and solo contexts and a lot of heart. The octet handles the multi-part counterpointed music with all the verve and contemporary awareness you would expect, just about ideally so.

If nothing else it is a confirmation of Adam Lane's centrality, but the something else is that is has all the excitement of a live date when everything goes right.

Bravo! Very strongly recommended.

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