"The Ideal Bread" Cadence Magazine review by David Dupont

"The Ideal Bread" Cadence Magazine review by David Dupont, July/August/September 2008

Moving to instrumental matters. To call the quartet Ideal Bread a Steve Lacy cover band is at once to define them precisely but also to minimize what they do. Yes, all the compositions here are by Lacy, and baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton and crew are faithful to their essence, and yet their are no slavish imitations or perfunctory head statements with solos. Rather Ideal Bread probes the innards of the pieces, elaborating them in expansive, at times, surprising treatments. The opening “Trickles” certainly can serve as a fruitful jamming vehicle. After all, that’s how Lacy with Roswell Rudd treated it. Instead Ideal Bread concentrates on teasing out the textures and angles as an ensemble. Sinton has assembled a crew of sympathetic souls. The frontline is oddly, probably coincidentally, a mirror of the Rudd and Lacy band with its low reed and high brass instead of high reed and low brass. Sinton is a daring instrumentalist, pushing his horn to its limits. At the top of his range, he possesses an alto-like purity; in the middle the bite of a tenor, and low down he can growl ferociously. Knuffke in contrast plays more subtle colors, full of breathy smears of sound, and vocal half-valved mutterings. He uses his resources to full effect on “Kitty Malone.” Bassist Reuben Radding, a profound and accomplished composer in his own right, is ideally suited to his role, laying down fat, intelligent lines and contributing to the sonic palette of little and off-beat sounds. His arco solo on “Esteem” is magnificent, but just as fine is the way the hum of his bowing sets and maintains the tune’s somber tone. Drummer Tomas Fujiwara weaves through the ensemble, his malleted figures tumbling and rumbling underneath. He’s equally effective setting a groove or adding splashes of free-time color. One “Capers,” he’s called upon to shift from time to no-time. His open and joyous swing beat leads the band through the upbeat “The Uh Uh Uh” that brings the session to a joyous close.