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Lockout

Ehud Asherie

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Album Review

Israeli-born, New York-based post-bop pianist Ehud Asherie makes his debut as a leader with the unflashy small-combo set Lockout. Leading a solos-discouraged rhythm section (bassist Joel Forbes and drummer Phil Stewart) alongside a front line of trumpeter Ryan Kisor and tenor Grant Stewart (with whose quartet the young pianist got his first major exposure) on a set evenly split between originals and standards, Asherie generally keeps the tempos fleet and the spotlight moving. Asherie, Stewart, and Kisor all get their showcases, Stewart's most impressive workout coming on a briskly paced run through Dizzy Gillespie's "Shaw 'Nuff" that's so speedy that the leader himself nearly falls apart at one point on his solo. But Asherie isn't afraid of lyricism, either, as evinced by his lovely, Tommy Flanagan-like solo intro to a reflective take on Irving Berlin's "Isn't This a Lovely Day?" Though Lockout is a completely straightforward set that rarely strays out of its comfort zone, that's not a fault on its part: this music's melodic invention and rhythmic ease are the result of its players' well-earned confidence, which makes Lockout a low-key gem.

Lockout, Ehud Asherie
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