James Brandon Lewis (USA)

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““James Brandon Lewis, A Jazz Saxophonist In His 30s, Raw-Toned But Measured, Doesn’t Sound Steeped In Current Jazz-Academy Values And Isn’t Really Coming From A Free-Improvising Perspective. There’s An Independence About Him, And On “Days Of FreeMan” (Okeh), He Makes It Sound Natural To Play Roaming, Experimental Funk, With Only The Electric Bassist Jamaladeen Tacuma And The Drummer Rudy Royston, And Without Much Sonic Enhancement.

The Record Sounds A Little Reminiscent Of What James Blood Ulmer And Ornette Coleman Were Doing In The Late ’70s And Early ’80s — On Records That Included Mr. Tacuma — But It’s Not Clearly Evoking A Particular Past. Maybe It’s An Improvised Take On Early ’90s Hip-Hop, As Mr. Lewis Has Suggested, But It Sounds Less Clinical Than That. It Sounds Like Three Melodic Improvisers Going For It.”

— The New York Times