All About Jazz review by Stuart Broomer

Steve Lehman Quartet – Manifold (CF 097)
In just a few years, Steve Lehman has established a remarkable track record as a saxophonist, bandleader and composer. This quartet recording is drawn from performances recorded in 2007 in Coimbra, a small city in central Portugal. Contemporaneous with the recent quintet recording on Pi, On Meaning, Manifold is a slightly looser ensemble, with more emphasis on free interaction than the group textures of the quintet. It’s a consistently brilliant band, from the subtle, offside pointillism of trumpeter Jonathan Finlayson to the springy, resonant fundamentals and almost pianistic upper register of bassist John Hebert. If one musician contributes most to the character of the ensemble play, it’s Nasheet Waits; while sometimes sounding like he has extra limbs, it’s the spectacular musical intelligence that’s most significant. He creates a dense, polyrhythmic backdrop that seems to be simultaneously interactive with every other part of the music. It’s particularly evident in the extended performance of Andrew Hill’s “Dusk”, the late pianist’s bittersweet pastoral enriched at every turn by Waits’ intense animation. He’s particularly adroit at a kind of dynamic suspension that he and Hebert construct behind Lehman, who in turn builds a solo of extraordinary tension with repeated fragments. While it’s convenient to comment on Lehman’s background as a student of both Jackie McLean and Anthony Braxton, he’s heir to much of the lineage of the free jazz saxophone, seemingly touching on vintage players as dissimilar as Marshall Allen and John Tchicai. Finlayson contributes the only other non-Lehman composition, “Berceuse”, an evocative, almost dirge-like theme that seems to touch on some of the characteristic voicings of Booker Little’s ompositions. The concert ends on an exploratory note, a sopranino saxophone solo exploring circular breathing and multiphonics, aptly entitled “For Evan Parker”.


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  1. 1
    Jim Falconbridge

    I am looking for a Stu Broomer ? do you recognize my name??? or have I got the right person. This is being written by his daughter as my Dad has only one eyeball but he never stops with the one liners thinking he’s funny hey!!!
    My daughter is a writer so I think it is really cool that my Dad knows a writer. My Dad just said he is a writer too wow LOL!!!

    We are hoping that we will get a response from you. Dad has no teeth and plays the avante guarde on an alto recorder and writes songs and plays the guitar. Now he’s babbling … he does not stop… more… what was that you said….keep going…….A Feast Of Joy For Perfect Youths!!!!

    Maybe if I become a writer too I be just like you guys.

    • 3
      chris robinson

      I too played for quite some time with Jim and Melissa and it was like my first band that got me started on my career which is still going, where, not too sure with this economy. But I played alto and soprano sax with Jim and have never heard anyone play quite like him before or since. He and Melissa were my first weird musical mentors and I always wanted to hear about them or hook up with them after all these years , I remember all the kids too, Cyrille, Lonnie, Jod and I think three more. I’m Chris Robinson in Toronto and can be reached at

  2. 5
    Bob McKenzie

    I don’t know how many daughters Jim and Melissa had. The one I remember is Jod (spelling may be wrong) born some time in the late ’70s. Is that you? I played two nights a week for seven years (1970-1976) at the York Hotel in London, Ontario, with Jim and Melissa, and Peter Denny on bass sax. Peter was asking just yesterday if I knew where Jim was now. This blog entry was the only information I could come up with on the internet. Peter had an address for Jim several years ago, wrote to him, and got a reply. Peter and I were planning to go to BC to look Jim up but Peter had a stroke so that was the end of those travel plans. I would certainly like to get back in touch with Jim. We spent a lot of time together back in the ’70s, not only at the York, but also at each other’s homes. He (or you) can reach me at .

  3. 6
    Jod Falconbridge

    Hi there guys I am Jim’s Daughter, Jod. So cool that we can get in touch like this, I remember some of you, Peter Denny for sure he made it out to Sayward once. I was only 4 when we left London but I do have very vivid memories from back then. My Dad doesn’t do email but all his friends can phone him at 1-250-637-5384. Jim and Melissa now live in the Queen Charlottes in Sandspit. Dad is liking it there so much he won’t move, the people love his music. He is playing his Sax again. Hope you all get this message because Jim would sure be happy to hear from you all.

  4. 10
    Jim Teskey

    Well, well well, Jod, I doubt very much if you remember me but I had the pleasure of visiting with your Ma and Pa at your place many nights in London! With wee young heads popping up around me while your mom and dad waxed historical and musical of the history of music, pulling it up by it’s roots for me to see, hear, taste and enjoy! As well, sitting in with you’re mom and dad many times at the York Hotel. AND, joining them En Tour, a ‘Tour de Force’ as I remember, to Niagara-On-The-Lake to play in a small hotel which, I came to find upon arrival, was owned by my former French teacher and his wife :)) ! One of the numbers I enjoyed the most singing with Jim And Melissa was Sweet Lorraine! Well, in closing let me just say…I’ve just found joy, I’m as happy as a baby boy, When he’s playing with his choo-choo toy, now that I’ve found your Ma & Pa! P.S. Let them know I’m swinging on the right coast, Cape Breton !

  5. 11
    Jod Falconbridge

    Jim Teskey, well I have heard your name lots. I have a little memory of Niagara on the lake. Sure was some interesting times back then. I remember the year we lived in the old school bus converted into a rolling home that was a lot of fun. My mom is on facebook as Mel Falconbridge. She would like to hear from her friends I am sure!

  6. 12

    Yo, Jod….Obviously I don’t chk bk to the Blogosphere often do I? I’ll be hailing your Ma on FBook soon! Warm regards to the ‘J&M Clan’ over there on the Left Coast ;))

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