Incontrovertibly struck by Eric Dolphy’s melodic jumpiness, bass clarinettist Jason Stein doesn’t wish that influence to take complete possess of his artistry. Having chosen a difficult tool for being remembered – in order to tackle a greater number of creative challenges, he says – Stein works in the alley where memory and newness fight, producing a kind of cunningly disjointed linear matter that sounds both antagonistic and lucid. In Three Less Than Between he’s flanked by equally clever companions, bassist Jason Roebke and drummer Mike Pride; the resulting hour of interplay exudes vibrancy and authority. Three personalities of equal weight share a collective profit; the most prominent constituent – the leader’s incessant search for different ways of saying something meaningful via a scarcely diffused reed instrument – does not detract from the feel of utter functionality elicited by Roebke’s inspired experimentations and Pride’s appropriate rhythmic dislocations. Needless to say, in such a milieu there’s practically no room for melancholy or fond reminiscence: the trio looks constantly forward, assuming that angular counterpoints and opinionated witticism do best in a world where men who sweat with eyes closed pretending to be connected with superior entities hide a shortage of inventiveness behind the façades of those invocations. Better staying concrete and bright, a lesson that Locksmith Isidore have learnt without flinching and, for our good luck, keep applying.