Here is the second, and very much awaited, take of Luther Grays’ project Lawnmower. With a change of direction inside the same jazz-blues-folk-rock configuration, now the quartet includes violin (Kaethe Hostetter) and electric bass (Winston Braman) instead of two guitars.
The saxophonist is Jim Hobbs again – without him, you wouldn’t have the distinct Lawnmower sound. The avant side of the group is still directing all the developments, profiting from Gray’s and Hobbs’ parallel or past works with luminaries like Anthony Braxton, Joe McPhee, Ken Vandermark, Sabir Mateen, Jenny Toomey and Tsunami (the first), Bill Lowe, Jon Voight, Laurence Cook, Curtis Hasselbring (the second), Taylor Ho Bynum, Timo Shanko and Joe Morris (both).
The two new additions open this perspective in multiple ways. Coming from the Debo Band and the Zena Bel Band, with experiences in classical music (Boston Philharmonic, New England Philharmonic), structured improvisation (with Fred Frith, for instance) and traditional African music (a permanence in Ethiopia changed her life), Hostetter adds color and multi-directionality to the Lawnmower agenda. Active in the alternative rock field, as a member of the bands Consonant, Fuzzy and Shepherdess, Braman does it also, contributing to the formulation of a deep rooted and sophisticated pop/jazz in which equation the pop part isn’t synonym of silliness. Check out how fresh, and surprising, and seductive, are the results.