Recommended: Lesser Lakes Trio – “The Good Land”


The Good Land takes an interesting turn after a straight-forward opening.  The album starts out like a conventional set from the Lesser Lakes Trio of trumpeter Jamie Breiwick, bassist John Christensen and drummer Devin Drobka.  The moonlight warmth of “Bender Park” and the bob & weave of “Wu-Chi” and the slow burn of “The Four Corners” give every indication that it’s going to be a modern trumpet album that borrows generously from the music of jazz gone by.

But then everything changes.  It starts with “Fitzimmons Rd” and its thoroughly modern rhythmic attack and pop-tinged melody.  The song is both fiercely driven and immensely catchy, and though it sounds nothing like what came before, there’s yet still an identifiable connection… sort of in that way a child can resemble a parent or perhaps, similarly, how lifetime lovers seem to grow more alike as the passing of time side by side one another.  The strangely ambient drone of “String of Pearls,” behaves almost as an interlude before “Happy Jacks” and title-track “The Good Land” circle back to where “Fitzimmons Rd” left off.

And from there, that’s when the trio takes a look back over their shoulder.  “Upon a Single Leg” and “Stilts” echo the phrasing and cadence of the album’s opening two tracks, but focus that view through a lens that is trained acutely on the present day.  But that sense of having come almost full circle, where the two ends don’t meet but are within reach… it’s a satisfying conclusion to a very enjoyable recording.

Your album personnel:  Jamie Breiwick (trumpet), John Christensen (bass) and Devin Drobka (drums).

Released on Shifting Paradigm Records.

Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Music from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon