Steve Lantner
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  Excerpts from 'Given - Live in Münster' reviews

One of the more striking aspects of Lantner's music pertains to his mergence of off-center musical concepts with an attainable program that makes near perfect's simply music that matters.

~ Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz

This reporter is still interested in hearing good jazz after all, perennial suspicions and doubts notwithstanding, and it took a mixture of instrumental masters and deep spirit to revive that curiosity. This quartet has managed to make me appreciate old things again, principally due to the fact that they actually shine under the light of fresh individuality.

~ Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

Lantner himself is one of the great free pianists of his generation. He has phenomenal technique, sure, but more than that, he's able to meld jazz feeling with post-tonal harmonic techniques in a way few other pianists can. His group's performance is on a level with the most intelligent, focused, and inspiring contemporary free jazz....Their music is extraordinary.

~ Chris Kelsey,

What makes this album so good is also typical for the label: the musicianship is great, the music is jazz (harmonically, rhythmically), but with a great exploratory approach, and it swings! Lantner's musical approach of cleverly creative nervously agitated free form can only be appreciated and enjoyed.

~ Stef Gijssels,

  Excerpts from 'What You Can Throw' reviews

The Steve Lantner Trio is clearly more than an avant garde piano trio, though even in that area they're at the forefront. This is some of the most distinctive recent work in the format.

~ Clifford Allen, All About Jazz NY

Seamlessly integrating divergent threads of musical history into a singular style, What You Can Throw is definitive. A swinging maelstrom of lyrically disjointed melodies and abstruse rhythms. A fluidly organic interpretation of a classic tradition, What You Can Throw offers an expansive view of the current possibilities of the contemporary jazz piano trio.

~ Troy Collins, All about Jazz

What You Can Throw marks another step along the path of placing Lantner's work in the wider context of jazz history, and it's all the more effective for it, providing secure arbors of tradition from which the pianist's innovations can be recognized and relished. That no-one else is doing quite what Lantner is doing has, consequently, never been more apparent. An outstanding, accessible disc which will appeal both to free jazz cognoscenti and those wishing to dip their toes into the genre for the first time.

~ Chris May, All about Jazz

Sure enough, he's one of the premier improvisers within the progressive-jazz realm. That notion is resplendently relayed here on this captivating, 2007 release.

~ Glenn Astarita, Jazzreview

It's long been fashionable to favorably describe piano trio discs as breaking the stolid mold that's been in place at least since Bill Evans had his epochal Vanguard stand. Lantner doesn't so much break the mold as recognize its malleable possibilities and shape it with his own catalytic perspective.

~ Derek Taylor,

A genuinely original voice on the piano....That these three musicians have succeeded in producing something as highly personal and individual as this confirms the health of the music and that there is life beyond post-modernism.

~ Duncan Heining, Jazzwise Magazine

Lantner's fluid mobility is expressed through a style which mixes influences as diverse as Albert Ayler and Meade Lux Lewis. [What You Can Throw] is a top-rank jazz album.

~ Massimo Ricci, Touching Extremes

  Excerpts from 'Blue Yonder' reviews

Blue Yonder is a tour de force for Boston-area pianist Steve Lantner. His range is vast, covering most strains of jazz-based improvisation as well as an unusually broad knowledge of techniques lifted from European-derived art music. He swings like a madman and abstracts like a mutha. Throw in a huge imagination, and you've got a tremendous piano player.

~ Chris Kelsey - JazzTimes

The trio has a rounded presence that's unbelievable....That the pieces are improvised at times seems unbelievable - the band stays as in-step as any recent piano trio session....If you're a piano fan, this will be a heavy-rotation treat.

~ Andrew Bartlett, Coda Magazine

The trio is strong. Their achievement of groove is outstanding. Listening to this recording is like fast-forwarding piano trio expectations. The fast-forwarding brings us into present time....Lantner clarifies an upper level of piano improvisation.

~ Lyn Horton -

Blue Yonder is one of the most wildly exploratory piano trio dates I've heard in a long time.

~ Edward Kane -

This is one piano trio that isn't afraid of dealing with the historical hand that's been dealt them.

~ Bill Meyer - Signal to Noise

His fertile imagination seems to explode with ideas that he can barely fit into the space provided.

~ Nils Jacobson -

  Excerpts from 'Saying So' reviews

Steve Lantner's radiantly novel approach contains the stuff that provides the earmarks for a fruitful career....No doubt, Lantner is an inventor who pushes his craft to the limits....Essentially, they investigate the free zone but perform with the refinement and elegance of a seasoned and well-disciplined jazz piano trio. This wonderful outing should not slip into a state of secrecy! Compulsory listening!

~ Glenn Astarita - All About Jazz, 7/18/02

On Saying So, free jazz pianist Steve Lantner gives new meaning to the word lyrical. He extends beyond gentle melodies to emphasize communication, and thus tell a story. Lantner builds statements, exclamations, and questions--and that feeling comes from his phrasing. When he's out front, Lantner has a particularly articulate way of putting things together. It's not the pointed lightning stabs of Cecil Taylor or the dark, angular thrusts of Matthew Shipp. Instead, Lantner relies on understatement and a gentle touch to make the music work. And it works. Consistently throughout each of these four extended pieces (7 to 30 minutes long), he allows ideas to unfurl at a deliberate pace, unrushed and crystalline in their clarity. And he's not averse to swinging, either.

~ Nils Jacobson - All About, Jazz 8/7/02

The pianist and his trio play in a wildly creative albeit gentlemanly free-improvisational style that draws from an unusual source (for free players, at least). This trio does not recall the egalitarian piano trios of, say, Bill Evans, or the thick abstraction of the post-Cecil Taylor school so much as it skips right back to the mainstream bebop piano trio sound of the '50s, though subsequently refracted through an abstract, thoroughly modern idiom....the real star of this show is Lantner.

~ Aaron Steinberg - Jazz Times, May 2003

Lantner's playing, while completely free, shows a deep, nearly cellular, mastery of form and balance....His tone is round and warm and his playing, even at its most forceful, is unerringly elegant....Lantner is a great talent, and Saying So is an essential document of his rising star.

~ James Beaudreau - Pop Matters December 2002

Never harsh, and quite accessible, the album expresses Free Jazz the way it's meant to be.

~ Jim Santella - Cadence, December 2002

  Excerpts from 'Voices Lowered' reviews

Lantner is an imposing presence.

~ Christian Carey - Copper Press

This is a disc that one hesitates to label subtle, for they do not play particularly softly, nor are the lines difficult to detect. It's only that this is the antithesis of a blowing sessions. All lines clear, spare, powerful and immediate, yet there's more revealed each listening.

~ Steven H. Koenig - All About Jazz, Best of 2001

This improvising troupe conjures up meticulously crafted or perhaps spellbinding interludes, enhanced by the musicians' distinctive and altogether stylistic approaches to their crafts....Three pioneers at the top of their game!

~ Glenn Astarita - All About Jazz

It's a very fine document of a fairly naked, no-safety-net working process that finds fresh and honest accommodations.

~ John Kennedy, Opprobrium

The music ripples and bubbles....This jazz is cool and undemonstrative, yet the freedoms it opens up are as dizzying as any broached by the bluster school.

~ The Wire

  Excerpts from 'Reaching' reviews

Fascinating improvisation and lots of depth by two musicians who obviously share the same ambitions. The duo perform as if they were truly Reaching for something which perhaps was previously unattainable. Imagery, poise and articulate renderings come to light as if these pieces were chronicles or events as told by two men speaking from within. Wondrous improvisation!
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~ Glenn Astarita, 1999

This one is aptly named. Steven Lantner and Mat Maneri are indeed reaching: for new combinations, new sounds, new potentialities to realize. This is extraor-dinarily active music, lurching every which way, jumping, skating, flying, and swooping down into a brood. . . . Dark, low key, searching, furious, exalted, exalting improvised music.

~ Robert Spencer,

Their fine inscriptions of line and point are decisively made, but an attractive fragility is created through their adventurous departures from intervallic norms. That this austere and sophisticated improvisation takes microtonality as its means rather than its end makes all the difference. ~ Julian Cowley, The Wire, Issue 190/191 It's [an] album to be treasured. There's no sell-out or move to the mainstream here, but there is an exploration of an area of improvised music which has previously been sidelined. As more young players like Lantner come to international atten-tion it will be interesting to see how this strand of free improvisation develops.

~ Richard Cochrane, Musings