Available August 18, 2009, Krantz Carlock Lefebvre features Krantz as one-third of a longstanding trio that also includes virtuoso drummer Keith Carlock (Sting, Steely Dan, James Taylor) and bassist extraordinaire Tim Lefebvre (Chris Botti, Uri Caine), which was first convened in 1997. “Giving this band a voice in the context of a studio is a big deal for us,” Krantz says. “Everything we’ve ever released together has been some kind of live album. Now we have the clarity and concision of the studio along for the ride.” Cut live in the studio and then augmented by overdubs, the result is Krantz’s most personal statement yet, more strongly rooted in composition while still rich with the improvisational nuances that make his live performances so riveting.
Moving to the East Coast from his hometown of Corvallis, Oregon, Krantz cut his teeth at Boston’s Berklee College of Music before heading to New York City. “When I moved,” he recalls, “I purged myself of everything and everyone that may have influenced me and started over. “ Krantz arrived at a sound that was incisive and direct, refreshingly free of effects and affectations, more often than not just a Strat plugged directly into an amp. The purity of tone was matched with a formidable rhythmic intelligence and an unflinching willingness to take chances. In 1996 he toured around the world with the revived Steely Dan, which he regards as an improvisational challenge that further sharpened his time-feel and sense of groove. “I loved it,” he said of the experience, “but at the end of the day it’s a sideman gig, and as great as it was, it still can’t compare to what I have with my own band.”
That thrill – the sound of three musicians both in synch and unafraid to challenge one another – is captured with gripping immediacy on Krantz Carlock Lefebvre, an album that handily defies categorization. Get ready for one of strongest musical statements of the year.