Über Mike Lee
This upbeat New York quintet plays seamless, hard-driving Post Bop jazz, heavily influenced by the classic mid-'60s recordings of Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock. Their fresh and sensitive interplay simultaneously suggests inspiration and effortlessness. Here, we find them playing a tune that appears to take its inspiration from Herbie Hancock’s startlingly percussive composition “The Eye of the Hurricane.” Tim Hagans’ bright, effusive trumpet runs recall Freddie Hubbard’s playing from that period, while saxophonist and bandleader Mike Lee evokes a harmonious marriage of George Coleman and Joe Henderson. His tone is mellifluous, his phrasing clever, and his harmonic ear highly sophisticated. Meanwhile, Matt Ray’s wide-open chord voicings and percussive attack are pure Hancock, but without resorting to imitation.