When he was 16, Chicago-based Jason Stein was known to be more of a rock guitarist than a base clarinetist. But it was jazz great Thelonius Monk who drew him in. And later when he heard Eric Dolphy play the bass clarinet, Stein was so inspired that he forged an unwavering commitment to cultivate a single tonal voice.
Also a student of drummer Milford Graves, saxophonists Charles Gayle and Donald Walden and brass player/theoretician Ed Sarath, Stein assimilated from these powerful figures the conceptual and philosophical lessons that compelled him to capitalize on his innate nature as a serious, self-motivated musician.
Fans will have two chances to appreciate Stein’s talent on November 10. His compositions are contained in the upcoming release “Three Less Than Between,” from a reconfiguration of Stein’s original trio, Locksmith Isidore, on the Clean Feed label, and in Stein’s debut solo outing on Leo Records, “In Exchange for a Process.”
“Three Less Than Between” will feature Chicago bass player Jason Roebke and drummer Mike Pride in a traditional jazz setting. “In Exchange for a Process” is described as “an articulated source for endless discovery of the elements indigenous to a world that is known only to Jason Stein. Treating the bass clarinet with energy equal to that applied by sax players, he follows in the footsteps of many contemporary avant-garde solo saxophonists, who have each expanded the concept of tonality.”