Jason Stein is among the mere handful of improvisers who play the bass clarinet exclusively. Stein leads the acclaimed trio Locksmith Isidore as well as his own quartet. He contributes to several of the leading bands on Chicago’s new-music scene and has brought a vital voice to the freest of free-jazz jams. Stein’s playing showcases an extraordinary expertise on the bass clarinet, which ranges from powerful post-bop lines to ear-grabbing wails in the altissimo range. Chicago writer Neil Tesser notes that “Stein’s playing has a rawboned swagger particular to Chicago jazz in all its manifestations – from the trad playing of Bud Freeman and Jimmy McPartland in the 20s, through the tenor titans of the 50s, through the adventurers who formed the AACM in the 60s, and right up to the city’s renowned modern cadre of new-music improvisers.” Stein moved to Chicago in 2005 and has since recorded for such labels as Leo, Delmark, Not Two, Atavistic, 482 Music, Clean Feed, Astral Spirits, and Northern Spy. Stein has performed throughout the US and Europe as both a bandleader and sideman and has amassed a discography of over 40 albums.
“Stein is exhilarating, a young master of his fiendishly difficult horn. Stein is a player to look out for.”
– Chris May, All About Jazz
“Stein stands apart from the standard instrumental lineage. Whereas a player like Eric Dolphy or Michel Portal builds on wide intervallic leaps and verticality, Stein (like Michel Pilz, Rudi Mahall or John Tchicai) operates in a horizontal fashion, favoring a breadth of twists and turns more sideways than anything else, woven into a post-Ornette fabric.”
– Clifford Allen, All About JazzStein, Jason