Label: Whaling City Sound
Format: COMPACT DISC
Connors, Mike; Lucie, Ed; Stein, John
Like many serious musicians, John Stein was trying to find a way to reach his audience during the Covid-19 shutdown. He had just released “Watershed,” a career-defining recording to mark his planned retirement from Berklee College of Music where he was an acclaimed educator. When the tour in support of “Watershed” was scrapped due to the pandemic, Stein and the indefatigable Neal Weiss at Whaling City Sound came up with the idea of bringing Stein and his trio—with Ed Lucie on bass guitar and Mike Connors on drums—to the New Bedford Art Museum for a live-streamed performance. The show was an enormous creative success. While it was skillfully documented on video, Stein also had sound engineer John Farrell capture and mix the audio. From the opener, a take on Sonny Rollins’“Alfie’s Theme,” to the closing, upbeat “Happy Hour,” a Stein original, the recording is a pure celebration of bristling energy and brilliant, intuitive performances. It’s the sound of unleashed happiness as embraced by three musicians, accursed pandemic or not, born to play beautiful jazz music.