|1. And When Circumstances Arise
|2. Threadbare 02
|3. 70 Degrees and Counting Down
|4. 24 Meshed Veils
|5. Funny Thing Is
|7. Silver Dollar
George Grella - New York City Jazz Record
The bass clarinet-guitar-drums trio Threadbare is much more in Stein’s wheelhouse. There are grooves on Silver Dollar, edged with plenty of metal and even punk rock ideas and a heavy feel that’s a nice change of pace to the majority of modern jazz. Having the groove there, even the sludge of the title track, makes an enormous difference, bringing out the best in Stein; he may be one of many quality musical thinkers who excel when responding to the stimulus of the world around them. This band is bedrock for Stein’s musicality. The strong beats and pulses bring out a subtle change in his articulation that makes for a dramatic separation between this album and the other two—stand-alone notes, or ones that initiate phrases, have a clear, measured attack, not emphasis but the energy of a band playing within structure. “Threadbare” is a critical microcosm of his qualities, with a long, free opening that moves toward and away the attention, then a crushing, complex groove that launches Stein, guitarist Ben Cruz and drummer Emerson Hunton onto a higher level. There’s a sense of variety among the tracks, which make this a substantial statement from what sounds like a working band.