Hearts & Minds
You have to grin over the exposure bass clarinetist Jason Stein has gotten courtesy of his famous little sister, Amy Schumer. The standup comic and Trainwreck star, in an unusual gesture to say the least, has had Stein open concerts for her – usually in big arenas that avant-gardists like him can’t imagine playing. Many of Schumer’s fans, let’s face it, have little interest in his music. But the sheer energy and propulsive power of playing –captured on his quintet’s exceptional new CD, Lucille, has earned him plenty of converts.
Today, Stein, one of the very few jazz artists who play the bass clarinet as their main instrument, will perform with the collective trio, Hearts & Minds. As revealed on their terrific self-titled album of 2016, the band has jazz visionaries such as Sun Ra, Eric Dolphy and Jimmy Giuffre in mind with its tripped-out effects and swarming intensity. Keyboardist Paul Giallorenzo makes like Sun Ra the electric keys pioneer on his E-pianet, an electro-mechanical piano once favored by the Beatles and the Zombies.
But even as they draw from the jazz and pop past, Stein and company, including protean drummer Chad Taylor, are anchored in the present, leaving their mark with solos that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up and spacey textures you may want to bring with you to your next massage. As promised, this is a band for both hearts and minds.