"The New York Session"
Multi-instrumentalist Mark Lewis may not be a household name in the jazz world because he's spent much of his career in Europe and Canada. But Lewis has played with greats like Bobby Hutcherson, Randy Brecker, and Johnny Griffin. And on his new album, "The New York Session," he's in the stellar company of George Cables on piano; Essiet Essiet, bass; and Victor Lewis, drums. From the fluttering flute that opens the album on "Koan" to the furious saxophone that closes it on "Roll 'em Joe," Lewis is a fantastic player.
Because the flute is far less common than saxophone in jazz performance, it is startling to hear how he uses every textural possibility to express himself in his solo. I found myself wishing there was more flute on the sax-dominated album. Veteran pianist Cables, the other star here, is on fire throughout, bringing his exuberant style to every flight he takes. Bassist Essiet and drummer Lewis not only lend solid support but are also superb on the occasional solo. Lewis, a prolific writer with 1,700 compositions to his credit, adds 11 more worthy tunes here.