The Rent

Musique de Steve Lacy

BY Glen HallPublished Apr 12, 2011

It takes bravery to take on the music of late composer/soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy. Musicians must study his syntax, melodic contours and rhythmic nooks and crannies if they hope to gain even a tenuous foothold in this most daunting landscape. And the Rent, a fearless five-some, do more than just a quick touristic jaunt through of Lacy's oeuvre; they damn well inhabit the stuff. From the opening strains of "Prospectus," one of the most familiar of the composer's pieces, the group rip it up, with vocalist Susanna Hood leading the charge. Hood makes much of "Jack's Blues," with lyrics by Robert Creeley. Not surprisingly, the Rent play "The Rent" with feeling, with saxist Kyle Brenders digging deep for a multi-directional solo and trombonist Scott Thomson contributing a gutsy, full-toned "rebuttal." Exceptional are drummer Nick Fraser and bassist Wes Neal, who keep the highly intellectual material solidly grounded. The Rent can feel that their time and dedication to Lacy's music have been well invested.

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