Two rather divergent directions characterize Center Song, the second album from saxophonist and clarinetist, Steve Treseler. On one hand, Treseler pays tribute to the alternative rock and grunge scene of his hometown Seattle with a cover of Sunny Day Real Estate’s “Days Were Golden.” On the other hand, while studying at New England Conservatory, Treseler developed a passion for the music of Lennie Tristano, Warne Marsh, Lee Konitz—musicians he honors with a relaxed version of “Kary’s Trance”.
The album will disappoint those expecting a clash between the coarse sounds of grunge and the polished cadences of cool jazz. Instead, it lights the fuse of music rich in contrasts and daring connections. Center Song deliberately lacks startling motions and the fluid movement of the narrative presents unexpected solutions.
Everything runs smooth like oil, expressive and coherent modern jazz with masterful improvisations—with the appealing trumpet of Ingrid Jensen and self-controlled writing. Except, curious to say, in the five fragments, each around a minute of duration in which the ensemble gives form to sonorities whose continued development could have directed the album toward more fascinating horizons.
– Vincenzo Roggero
(Translated from All About Jazz Italy)