Kirk Knuffke (cnt), Stomu Takeishi (b), Kenny Wollesen (perc), Bill Goodwin (d, perc)
Bar code: 8427328424752
"Although Knuffke topped Downbeats 2015 Rising Star poll, this will almost certainly be the last time hell be described as new talent. Since arriving in New York over a decade ago the 35-year-old cornettist has recorded with such luminaries as Butch Morris, Mark Helias and Mary Halvorson, not to mention one of the citys most happening groups, Allison Millers Boom Tic Boom. With over a dozen pending releases and more than twice that number already under his belt, 2015 looks set to be his breakthrough year.
At once rooted in tradition and subversively skewed, the somewhat unusual instrumentation of Lamplighter makes a striking and immediate first impression. Neither Wollesen nor Goodwin play with a full kit, their orchestra of small instruments bringing a tremendous unpredictability and richness to Knuffkes elastic grooves.
Rise opens with a simple pulse from Wollesens bass drum, quickly lurching into swing-time as Goodwins snare and cymbals animate the leaders expressionistic half-valve glisses. Takeishis rather boxy acoustic bass guitar takes some getting used to, but when the ears adjust his note placements are often little short of sublime (nowhere more so than on the splendidly languid title track). Blanks summons the dancing spirit of Knuffkes one-time mentor Ornette Coleman, whist Tomorrow And Later rides an almost martial beat redolent of Henry Threadgills off-kilter funk. The sheer joy of Knuffkes solo on Odds is utterly infectious, but its dangerously turbulent undertow is a reminder of a broad musical catholicism.
All in all this is a wonderfully individual set, and if youre searching for sounds of surprise youll find them right here."
Fred Grand -Jazz Journal (October, 2015)