Window Silver Bright is the second outing from Andy Laster’s Lessness band and much like their acclaimed first release, it’s a stellar example of chamber jazz that fluidly combines classical composition techniques with inspired improvisation. Bursting with ideas, it’s thoughtful, provocative music that gracefully veers between humor and sadness. The tunes draw inspiration from a diverse array of sources—the Tristan chord, Piero della Francesca, birdsong, and the blues to name a few—and Laster allows his crack ensemble enough room to embellish the nine intricately-structured tales.
Formal considerations aside, there’s plenty of rhythmic variety and vitality to seduce and engage the listener. The splendid rapport and richness of the music-making can partially be adduced to the fact that the band members have repeatedly intersected in various Downtown ensembles over the years. With this release, Laster enhances his reputation as one of the forward-thinking composers of the contemporary jazz scene.
ReviewsWith this release, the artist puts aside his alto and performs exclusively on baritone sax. Laster has manifested a definitive style and approach while often utilizing the creme de la creme of New York City's divergent jazz community. He integrates a chamber, or contemporary classical component into his multi-layered fabrics of sound - consisting of stirring jazz improvisations and difficult to navigate time signatures. No doubt, the band is tight. Well, they have to be. But part of the magic lies within the sextet's loosely perpetuated vibes, amid blazing solos by the leader, trumpeter Cuong Vu and cellist Erik Friedlander. The sextet conveys a ballsy demeanor on pieces such as the bump and grind affair titled, Rip-Rush. In any event, Laster's music doesn't come across as being overly austere or rigid. This is partly due to the often-magical balance he and his band-mates achieve via their impressive harmonization of dissimilar elements. Highly recommended. - Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz