Steve Lehman in concert with his Octet at the Seattle Art Museum on October 29th presented by the Earshot Jazz Festival 2010.

In the year since Steve Lehman made his first Earshot Festival appearance, in a riveting solo performance for sax and electronics, he has confirmed his standing as one of the most exciting and innovative jazz performers, anywhere.

His 2009 octet album Travail, Transformation & Flow has continued to draw rave reviews: four-and-one-half stars from DownBeat; top-10 listing from more than 30 publications around the country; and a New York Times rating as the pop or jazz CD of the year. The Jazz Journalists Association in April recognized Lehman in three categories: composer, alto saxophonist, and recording of the year.

Win acclaim like that, and suddenly the seemingly impossible can happen: a musician can get to go on tour with his octet, generally a prohibitively expensive undertaking. That is what Lehman has been doing. His eight-piece has appeared around the U.S. and Europe. It is scheduled to continue touring well into 2011.
Also since his last Earshot appearance, another of Lehman’s bands, Dual Identity, released its debut, self-titled disc. The band includes other leaders of the New York progressive-jazz scene including Rudresh Mahanthappa.

The same month, the Jack Quartet presented the world premiere of Lehman’s “Nos Revi Nella” for string quartet.

That suggests the Brooklyn-reared saxophonist’s musical range. So do his recordings with his quintet, and with the group Fieldwork (Lehman, pianist Vijay Iyer, and monster drummer Tyshawn Sorey). With Mahanthappa, those players comprise a new breed of charging instrumentalist-composers.

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Click here for the complete schedule for the rest of the upcoming shows at the 2010 Earshot Jazz Festival

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