Steve Lehman (b. New York City, 1978) is a composer, performer, educator, and scholar who works across a broad spectrum of experimental musical idioms. Lehmans pieces for large orchestra and chamber ensembles have been performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE), So Percussion, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, The Jack String Quartet, members of the Argento and Wet Ink Ensembles, and by the pianist Marilyn Nonken. An alto and sopranino saxophonist, Lehman has performed and recorded nationally and internationally with his own ensembles and with those led by Anthony Braxton, Dave Burrell, Mark Dresser, Vijay Iyer, Oliver Lake, Meshell Ndegeocello, David Wessel, and High Priest of Anti-Pop Consortium. His recent electro-acoustic music has focused on the development of computer-driven models for improvisation, based in the Max/MSP programming environment. Lehmans work has been favorably reviewed in Artforum, Downbeat Magazine, The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Wire, and on National Public Radio and the BBC.
As a Fulbright scholar in France during the 2002-2003 academic year, Lehman began researching the reception of African-American experimental composers working in France during the 1970s. His article in the journal Critical Studies in Improvisation, I Love You with an Asterisk: African-American Experimental Composers and the French Jazz Press, 1970-1980, is based on his Fulbright research. He is currently working on a study of the overlapping histories of spectral music and contemporary improvisation.
Lehman received his B.A. (2000) and M.A. in Composition (2002) from Wesleyan University where he studied under Anthony Braxton, Jay Hoggard, and Alvin Lucier, while concurrently working with Jackie McLean at the Hartt School of Music. He is currently a doctoral candidate in Music Composition at Columbia University, where he is a departmental fellow and studies under Tristan Murail and George Lewis.
Lehman has taught undergraduate courses at Wesleyan University, the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris, New School University, and Columbia University, and has presented lectures at Amherst College, UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, CalArts, The Berklee School of Music, Cornish College of the Arts, The Royal Academy of Music in London, and IRCAM in Paris, where he was a 2011 composer-in-residence. His most recent recording, Travail, Transformation & Flow (Pi 2009), was chosen as the #1 Jazz Album of the year by The New York Times.
Mise en Abime reviewed in LA Times
Rave review in the
for Steve Lehman’s Mise en Abime. Chris Barton says “Lehman is a dazzling talent with a compact tone and expansive ambitions” and the album “sounds like something moving forward fast. No other explanation is really needed.” Pick up a copy and hear for yourself today. LA Times Mise en Abime gets 5 stars in Downbeat!
Our latest release: Mise en Abime from the Steve Lehman Octet was not only the lead review in the August Downbeat, it received a rare 5 star rating! In his review, John Corbett writes: “I’m rarely moved to say something like this, but Steve Lehman’s work is required listening for the next generation.”
Read the full review
. HERE Video for Steve Lehman Octet “Mise en Abime”
VIDEO preview of our third release of the year: Mise en Abime from the Steve Lehman Octet. Out June 24. Praise for Steve Lehman’s Dialect Fluorescent
The Steve Lehman Trio on
NPR’s Favorite Sessions playing music from Dialect Fluorescent
Dialect Fluorescent reviewed in The New York Times by Nate Chinen, “”The alto saxophonist and composer Steve Lehman has earned a reputation for sure-footed futurism… some smartly stuttering original pieces… several tunes from the jazz repertory… which serves as a springboard, sending the trio off in a swift trajectory, slicing through the air.”
Dialect Fluorescent previewed on TheAwl.com by Seth Colter Walls, ” “… this new recording leans heavily on some older jazz covers. One in particular, John Coltranes Moments Notice, is particularly cool… groove and intellectualism can naturally co-exist.” DownBeat’s Critics Poll
DownBeat’s Critics Poll Winners have been released and there is much to celebrate. We are very pleased to congratulate Rudresh Mahanthappa for being voted top Alto Saxophonist. Apex is in the top 5 Jazz Albums of the Year at #4. Other categories where Pi Recordings’ artists were recognized by the critics:
Jazz Artist -
Vijay Iyer, Henry Threadgill & Rudresh Mahanthappa Piano -
Vijay Iyer Rising Star Jazz Artist -
Rudresh Mahanthappa & Vijay Iyer Composer -
Henry Threadgill & Vijay Iyer Rising Star Piano -
Vijay Iyer Alto Saxophone -
Henry Threadgill , Bunky Green & Steve Coleman Jazz Group -
Henry Threadgill Zooid Flute -
Henry Threadgill Guitar -
Marc Ribot Rising Star Guitar -
Liberty Ellman Rising Star Composer -
Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman & Rudresh Mahanthappa Record Label -
Read Steve Smith of the
New York Times review of ICE’s performance of Steve Lehman’s Impossible Flow at Le Poisson Rouge.
We are pleased to announce that we have added 4 items to our store for the holiday season:
We would like to thank the 99 journalists who participated in the
Fourth Annual Village Voice Jazz Poll and who helped to make Henry Threadgill’s This Brings Us To, volume 1 the #2 recording of 2009 and Steve Lehman’s Travail, Transformation and Flow #5.
We would also like to thank the
Wall Street Journal and Larry Blumenfeld for naming Henry’s recording the #1 release of 2009.
Happy New Year to all from Pi Recordings.
Special thanks to Jazz Times and the New York Times for their support:
New York Times Year End Best of List
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow #1
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To Vol.1, #3
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow #5
Jazz Times Top 50 Releases of 2009
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To Vol.1, # 4
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow #11
PopMatters.com Best of Jazz 2009
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow #6
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To Vol.1, #7
Year end polls are starting to come in. We would like to thank the following critics for their support:
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To, Vol. 1, # 1
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To Vol.1, # 3
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow, # 9
Michael J. West
Steve Lehman - Travail, Transformation & Flow, # 7
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To, Vol. 1, # 1
Steve Lehman Octet - Travail, Transformation, and Flow, # 5
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To, Volume 1, # 6
David R. Adler
Steve Lehman Octet - Travail Transformation & Flow, # 5
Henry Threadgill Zooid - This Brings Us To, Vol. 1, # 2
Steve Lehman Octet - Travail, Transformation, and Flow, # 3
We would also like the thank
Nate Chinen for choosing Travail, Transformation, and Flow, and This Brings Us To, Vol. 1 as his number one and two picks. Click here to check out the ongoing conversation.
Finally, a special thanks to Seth Colter Walls for citing Travail, Transformation, and Flow in his Newsweek article,
Jazz Is Dead. Long Live Jazz.
The 56th Annual
Down Beat Critic’s Poll results are in and we are pleased to say that a number of Pi Recording’s artists have been recognized for their work over the past year.
Muhal Richard Abrams received 32 votes towards Hall of Fame consideration.
The Vijay Iyer Quartet received 33 votes in the Rising Star Jazz Group category. Additionally,
Vijay received 47 votes in the Rising Star Composer category, 28 votes in the Rising Star Jazz Artist category and 60 votes in the Rising Star Piano category. Tyshawn Sorey also received Rising Star Jazz Artist consideration with 23 votes as well as 29 votes in the Rising Star Drums category.
Roscoe Mitchell received 38 votes in the Soprano Saxophone category.
Rudresh Mahanthappa received 23 votes in the Alto Saxophone category and 85 votes in the Rising Star Alto Saxophone category. Steve Lehman also received Rising Star Alto Saxophone with 48 votes.
Henry Threadgill received 39 votes in the Flute category.
Corey Wilkes received 35 votes in the Rising Star Trumpet category.
Marc Ribot received 26 votes and James “Blood” Ulmer received 25 votes in the Guitar category. Additionally, “Blood” received 50 votes in the Blues Artist/Group category.
Pi Recordings would like to thank all of the critics who recognize the work of our artists year after year.
WNYC is many things to New York radio, but one of them is hands down the outlet for music that needs to be heard. So it was exciting news when John Schaefer asked Fieldwork to join him on Soundcheck before their CD release show at Joe’s Pub. Listen to the segment
Pi Recordings is pleased to announce that the Jazz Journalists Association has released their list of finalists for this year’s awards and a number of Pi Recordings’ artists are prominently featured. Tyshawn Sorey has been nominated for Up & Coming Musician of the Year and Drummer of the Year, while Steve Lehman has been nominated for Alto Player of the Year. Congratulations to both Tyshawn and Steve. Harbingers of things to come for sure.
Wonderful feature article on the AACM by Nate Chinen in the New York Times on the occasion of the release of George Lewis’s “A Power Stronger Than Itself: The AACM and American Experimental Music.” It’s really heartening to be reminded how many of the key members of the AACM, some now gone, have recorded for Pi. Chinen goes on to name Fieldwork as an example of a band influenced by the AACM aesthetic. Thanks Nate for helping to draw attention to an organization whose recognition falls well short of it’s influence on the music.
Pi Recordings is very excited to announce that 2008 will see the release of Fieldwork’s new studio recordings
Door. Vijay Iyer, Steve Lehman and Tyshawn Sorey recorded Door after their three nights of performances at the Stone in December of 2007.
Produced by the band and mixed by Scott Harding,
Door is the bands third release and first with Tyshawn Sorey. 2 tracks from the CD can be previewed here. Look for the CD this Spring.
We never get tired of support from the
New York Times, especially when it is as positive as Nate Chinen’s review of Steve Lehman’s On Meaning. From the most recent Critic’s Choice column Nate describes the results of the recording date as “The layered complexity of his music attests to some careful calibration, but the playing reflects something else: a spirit of lunging abandon constrained by collective purpose.” Regarding other label favorites, “The album’s chief relationship is between Mr. Lehman and Tyshawn Sorey, an impulsive yet exacting drummer; together they make up two-thirds of Fieldwork, a separate group that has made a science of rhythmic convolution.” Further wets our appetite for 2008, as Fieldwork goes into the studio this Friday to start work on their third recording.
the pages of , Chris Kelsey’s review of Amir ElSaffar’s Jazz Times Two Rivers appropriately sums up Amir and the recording with these lines, “ElSaffar’s band (Rudresh Mahanthappa, alto sax; Nasheet Waits, drums; Carlo DeRosa, bass; Tareq Abboushi, buzuq and percussion; Zaafer Tawil, oud, violin, dumbek) has nary a weak link… There’s not the faintest hint of dabbling here; ElSaffar knows from whence he came, in every respect.”