Alex LoRe Quartet at Cornelia St. Cafe 12/21/17 (by Kazemde George)

PERSONNEL: Alex Lore (alto), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Desmond White (bass), Allan Mednard (drums)

SET LIST: Southbound, Orachle, Miniatures 1, Miniatures 2, And Mending, Figs For Birds (all by LoRe)

HIGHLIGHTS: The slow build of “And Mending” was highly satisfying and offered a natural contrast within the set.

Alex LoRe paints a coherent musical picture for the audience. While the music at times can seem open-ended, abstract, and idiosyncratic, the compositions and players also brought an approach that was decidedly grounded and congruous, with specific motifs, and familiar grooves.

Despite the presence of Glenn Zaleski, the sound was often reminiscent of Fly. Sparse chords and piano-sax or piano-bass unisons allowed the band to maintain this piano-less trio sound. Allan Mednard provided a bouncy and propellant straight-eighth feel, seamlessly fitting all of LoRe’s deceptive hits and melodic gestures into a solid rhythmic framework.  White locked in and outlined the movements of the uncommon forms.

Zaleski had the challenge of harmonically contextualizing demanding bass-lines and dissonant melodies. He dealt with that easily enough, but there also were several exciting moments when he seemed to completely re-imagine the song during his solo.

LoRe has a clear and unwavering tone, pointed and delicate, always in tune. He clearly is attempting to expand his melodic language beyond the well-established tenents of bebop in both his writing and playing.

Overall, the band was tight. They nailed LoRe’s most involved composition and  demonstrated a high level of skill both in mature improvisation and interaction.

— by Kazemde George