Since my review about Lincoln Adler's album Grateful ten years have passed. A period that changes people and sometimes also their music. Of course, one cannot shed one's past like a cloak. Experiences, abilities, influences, origins continue to shape you. But one can try to renew oneself. In case of saxophonist Lincoln Adler, this attempt is called Tabula Rasa.

The Latin expression tabula rasa (tabula “board” and rasa “scraped”, radere “scraped”) originally referred to a wax-covered writing board that was smoothed by scraping off the writing and can be rewritten like a blank sheet of paper. Figuratively, it means clearing the air and starting from scratch.

Lincoln Adler ventures a new beginning with a fresh band consisting of Erik Jekabson (trumpet, flugelhorn), Mike Blankenship (keyboards), Scott Thompson (bass) and Aaron Green (drums). Tabula Rasa is a digital EP with five tracks, all written and arranged by Lincoln with the except of the cover Red Clay.

The album starts with Alchemy, which is also the first single of the album now rotating on many radio stations. Lincoln defines it as "Getting the mix of ingredients just right ends up creating a whole that’s so much more than the sum of the parts." Stylistically, the group can be classified in the field of contemporary jazz, although it is more of the melodic variety.

When we talk about the term chord progression, than Tabula Rasa is a fitting example. Temple bells are included as an exotic component. Saxophone, trumpet and flugelhorn are finely tuned to each other.

Red Clay was originally written and performed by jazz trumpeter Freddie Hubbard in 1970. Of course, the group around Lincoln Adler cannot compete with the jazz giants who settled around Freddie Hubbard. It should rather be understood as a quotation of the classic jazz brilliant.

The Point poses the existential question about the core of the essential. A melody that circles around the center of the main theme again and again and ultimately remains on a quest. Isn't the way the goal? Erik Jekabson and Lincoln Adler present intense solos on the flugelhorn and saxophone respectively.

The In Between thematises the state of transition in a similar way to its predecessor. As we are used to from contemporary jazz, we experience a thoroughly complex processing of a leitmotif, which is taken apart and synthesized anew according to the rules of music.

Lincoln Adler's Tabula Rasa is a typical representative of the contemporary jazz genre. Since the time with the formation Times 4 Lincoln goes his individual way. This has not changed even with the personnel modification.







Buy the album at bandcamp

Album Information

Title: Tabula Rasa
Artist: Lincoln Adler
Year: 2021
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Hubtones Music

1. Alchemy 04:04
2. Tabula Rasa 05:02
3. Red Clay 03:54
4. The Point 06:01
5. The In Between 04:56

Further review: