"...David Lackner already has something going for himself...on this somewhat auspicious debut. The program starts off with a funky bluesy number called 'Fission' and I was immediately put in mind of a young Eric Kloss. It is a fairly simple but catchy tune with a nice bridge (the kind Kloss would have penned) and Lackner has a strong, clean alto tone - and some soul. I hear a little Jackie McLean too; and maybe Blythe, Bartz, even a little of Threadgill...Then thereís Jim Ridl, who has a nice touch and inventive sense on the piano, and the rhythm section kicks. 'Three for Ddb' finds Lackner switching to soprano...but he does get a lyrical melodic flow going on this attractive ballad. Rabbai on flugelhorn is well burnished and matches the lyrical mood. 'Softly as in a Morning Sunrise' is given a Latin transformation with a Salsa riff behind the main head that is rather attractive. Ridl gets a fully fleshed solo going, alternating Latin and Swing feels with A and B song sections, respectively; then he stretches a little, and gets a good groove going with the rhythm section; Jim Millerís drums spread fire underneath it all. Lacknerís alto solo shows a strong natural feel for Bop and Post-Bop phrasing...he has a rather hard, McLean-like sound and a somewhat expanded tonal sense that are moving to hear. A mid-swing number with a memorable head, 'Something for Free' finds David laying back on the beat just a little and creating a true Swing feeling. Again, he isnít playing a lot of notes but he proportions what he does play with soul and keeps a storytellerís interest going while Miller boots the band again. Davidís solo on the quasi-bossa 'Minor Rash' surprises you with a mature, almost painfully worldly, sarcastic legato line and occasionally expansive harmoniousness.
Next, he bravely takes on 'Cherokee,' weaving a string of Bop lines which are not clichť and are distinguished by a staccato articulation - a little raw in spots, but not derivative in the usual way. The last cut, 'Magna Carta Song,' features Lacknerís soprano and a distinctive upper register...
...this is an impressive debut. It shows Lackner already developing a sound with an incipient sureness that belies his years...Lacknerís efforts and a strong band make for enjoyable listening."
"Alto and soprano saxophonist David Lackner makes a smooth entry on his debut CD...
Lackner can play perky as he neatly reinvents the melody of 'Softly as in a Morning Sunrise' from a Latin perspective. He shows balladic skills on 'Belt of Asteroids,' and overall exhibits a mature ability to jet-ski through chord changes.
The band here is very strong, with Rowan adjunct jazz faculty member George Rabbai on trumpet and past Pat Martino sideman Jim Ridl on piano. Bassist Steve Varner and drummer Jim Miller round out this strong contingent, which provides some velvety backing."
- Philadelphia Inquirer
"...Lackner favors a carefully articulated sound, lining up solid, distinct notes like dominoes, popping on alto and showing just a touch of the blues...things loosen up in the express-train context of 'Cherokee' and in custom-built originals such as the calculating 'Belt of Asteroids.'"
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