Four Into Four
The Billy Lester Quartet, live at Roulette in New York City. With Lester on piano; Simon Wettenhall, trumpet; Sean Smith, bass; Russ Meissner, drums. It was Cadence Magazine's Editors' Pick of 2003 "As a composer, Lester is a quietly commanding presence. Comping under Wettenhall on "Person-L," he provides a running commentary of fragmentary asides, dissonant complications and figured-bass countermelodies. In his solos he phrases way across bar lines, laying out a lyrical logic that strays far from but never completely off the heads. He deconstructs themes and examines their shards with a curiosity somewhat like Thelonious Monk, but when he arrives at a Monk-like turn, it's from a different direction." Howard Mandel Down Beat, November 2003 "His writing style turns a jazz standard through chord manipulation and inversions into new music with fresh improvisations and harmonies. Add to this the dexterously agile trumpet of Simon Wettenhall and this live gig becomes well worth preserving." Elliot Simon All About Jazz "Players feed off one another intuitively in fashioning a unified music though always maintaining an independent spirit of versatility, improvisatory freedom, and playful spontaneity. The joy of performance is omnipresent. John Sutherland Jazz Canadiana.