One of the most difficult things to accomplish in music is making the complicated sound natural and easy. Saxophonist Loren Stillman continues to challenge himself in the arena of composition by writing pieces of music that sound freely played but adhere to an architecture, requiring the players to move forward within the piece as they deal with the fabric of the composition.
Over the past two decades, Stillman has become one of jazz music’s leading alto saxophonists. But he has long felt that he was a tenor saxophonist playing the alto. So, when the pandemic reared its head, Stillman used the time to woodshed the larger horn, trying to extend his sound fluidity through his alto, soprano, and tenor without leaning into the sound cliches of any of the three.
The time also allowed Stillman to develop new repertoire that he heard in his head led by tenor voice. He began to write pieces for a trio of tenor, bass, and drums, as it was a conscious choice to eschew a chordal instrument so that Stillman had more freedom and room to fill the harmonic space.
Throughout his career, Loren Stillman has been able to impress with fantastic saxophone playing and intriguing composing. Though he changes dimensions with a new horn and a new trio after nearly a decade without an new album, Stillman’s skills remain undeniable on his new recording, Time and Again.
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