Jason Stein’s avant jazz trio Locksmith Isidore to release new album After Caroline this May on Northern Spy

Jason Stein's avant jazz trio Locksmith Isidore to release new album After Caroline this May on Northern Spy
Photo: Amy Shumur

It’s a damn shame that, of all the instruments in the woodwind family, few people seem to realize that “the bass clarinet” is A THING that exists. I call it a shame because I’m pretty positive that, if they only knew about it, they’d know HOW UTTERLY FORMIDABLE, RIDICULOUSLY VERSATILE, and INDOMITABLY BADASS of an instrument it is. Especially in the right hands.

And hey, speaking of “the right hands!” Here comes Chicago-based improv jazz legend and bass clarinet charmer Jason Stein. He, alongside bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Mike Pride — comprise The Locksmith Trio, and it just so happens that the three of them are about to release a new album on Northern Spy (damn; good thing I happened to by sitting at this keyboard typing all these words in this precise order at the exact same time, huh?)

Entitled After Caroline and due out May 18 on Northern Spy, the eight song long-player takes its inspiration “from the fact that Stein’s paternal grandmother Caroline — wife to the locksmith Isidore — passed away the day the album was recorded.” And its highlight, “You Taught Me How To Love” — which features some “tensile contrabass” from Roebke and “skippy brushwork” from Pride — is a heart-on-sleeve paean to the late Caroline.

But, much like the ingenious and endlessly adaptable bass clarinet itself, the album seems to run the gamut of the possible moods and textures that three men and six arms (plus two feet, I suppose) could possibly conjure. Don’t believe me? Then just check out the album’s opening freak-out “As Many Chances As You Need” — a churning, squirming improv manifesto played in an utterly alien-sounding 19/8 time signature — down below. While you’re listening, you can also pre-order the album from Nothern Spy here or the Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore Bandcamp page here…if you’re not too dizzy from trying to keep track of that beat.

After Caroline tracklisting:

01. As Many Chances As You Need
02. Eckart Park
03. Ida Like
04. 26-2
05. Sternum
06. Walden’s Thing
07. You Taught Me How To Love
08. We Gone

Jason Stein Locksmith Isidore After Caroline shows:

05.11.18 - San Francisco, CA - Bird and Beckett
05.13.18 - Potter Valley, CA - Penofin Jazz Festival
05.18.18 - New York, NY - NuBlu 151 [NYC Record Release]
05.26.18 - Chicago, IL - The Hideout [Chicago Record Release]
06.22.18 - Vancouver, BC - Vancouver Jazz Festival

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