Published Nov 24, 2020With names like Snarky Puppy, Laila Biali, Gregory Porter, and Joshua Redman on his CV, drummer Larnell Lewis has no shortage of artists eager to record with him. His skill and technique as a player combines the technical intricacy of jazz fusion, the potent groove of funk, and the improvisational wizardry of great bebop drummers. Relive the Moment revisits a selection of tracks off Lewis's debut record, In the Moment, with alternate takes of new drum tracks. There's not a whole lot of new material, but the record still shows Lewis comfortably in his element, while looking for new ways to approach his own work.
Like any jazz drummer, Lewis rarely plays a chart the same way twice. Sometimes it's more overt, like how "The City Lights" opens with a more subdued approach, in contrast to the aggressive cymbal shots from the original recording. Sometimes it's more subtle, like new ideas for fills or new ways to play with his existing ideas. Although on the surface it feels like Lewis is simply covering his own songs, it still shows a musician continuing to find new ways to reimagine his catalogue.
While Relive the Moment presents a great avenue for a player of Lewis's calibre to really dig in and experiment with his solo material in new ways, the record still serves as a great showcase of his strengths, even if it might leave fans of his work wanting more. (Independent)