Monday, June 9, 2014

Ideal Bread - Beating the Teens

Ideal Bread
Beating the Teens

Josh Sinton – Baritone Saxophone
Kirk Knuffke – Cornet
Adam Hopkins – Bass
Tomas Fujiwara – Drums
“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

Beating The Teens is Ideal Bread’s track – by – track interpretation (Josh Sinton calls them "recompositions") of the Steve Lacy set Scratching The Seventies that appeared on the French Saravah label. The songs are presented in a different order than the original, and the 3-CD set has been compacted to two discs, with most tracks clocking in at under five minutes. 

Scratching the Seventies comprised five different albums and several different groupings of musicians, including solo works, so the fact that one group is playing this music makes the presentation more homogeneous on one level. But the instrumentation of the group and their original approach to the arrangements take the material in a whole new direction. 

Lacy frequently incorporated texts into his music, either overtly or as inspiration, and this speech-like quality is brought out on Teens; it’s like listening in on a conversation between four old friends, with arguments, laughter and passionate debate. 

Josh Sinton has matured as a player since their prior release, Transmit, gaining expressiveness and facility on his horn. Kirk Knuffke is the perfect trumpeter for this project, quirky and original, yet still letting Lacy’s voice and style come through. The rhythm team of Adam Hopkins, replacing Reuben Radding, and Tomas Fujiwara contribute their voices as well, and even lock into grooves at times, something else that sets this apart from most of what I know of Lacy’s music. 

Beating the Teens plays like a jazz concept album. It’s not about the individual solos, or even the individual songs, but the gestalt of the whole set. With this album, Ideal Bread has taken a big step forward in developing a distinct voice and a distinct take on the music of Steve Lacy.

Note: In the interests of full disclosure, I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign that helped fund this release.

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