Stephan Crump / Steve Lehman

Project Overview

A relatively new project with two of my favorite artists.  Our first album, Asteroidea, is now available on the Intakt label.  Here’s the NYT review of our album release concerts from December 2017 at Jazz Gallery in NYC.

Wandering Lines

BORDERLANDS TRIO The Jazz Gallery, Dec. 8

Think of Borderlands Trio as an all-star team of should-be jazz luminaries. The group looks and feels like a standard jazz trio, but the air it breathes is a little different. That much is apparent on “Asteroidea,” its engrossing debut album of free improvisations, released in October. Stephan Crump, the bassist, is the collective’s de facto leader, though the pianist Kris Davis and the drummer Eric McPherson play equally important roles.  On the first evening of a two-night run at the Jazz Gallery, they played a series of long immersions, guided by Mr. McPherson’s steadily locomotive drumming and the oozing agility of Mr. Crump’s bass. At one point, Mr. McPherson, using brushes, carried the trio into a big, circular groove — something evoking passage and duration. Mr. Crump found his way into a minor pattern that climbed high before falling hard on the root note; Ms. Davis played the role of disrupter, hammering one broken-glass chord in double and triple and quadruple hits. The whole thing had the illusion of a pattern or a stream, but it resisted symmetry: If they were tracing some borderline, it was running through wild and uncharted terrain.  – Giovanni Russonello