Andy Laster, baritone sax; Bryan Carrott, marimba, vibes; Cuong Vu, trumpet; Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Sarin, drums, temple blocks
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.
"Laster has developed a unique compositional style that draws from techniques employed in modern classical chamber music, with highly scored passages that serve as a backdrop for or intertwine with soloists. While often complex, his music is also spacious, rhythmically open and expressive, with considerable appeal to fans of well-executed contemporary jazz and creative improvisation." －All Music Guide