Steven Feifke Big Band

Kinetic
(Outside in Music)

This debut by Steven Feifke Big Band, a fixture of the New York jazz scene, feels like a pushback against playlist-centric consumption. As a luxurious whole, Kinetic’s extended solos and unhurried pace are decadent, and Feifke’s original material and arrangements are worth a listen.

The album is at its most vibrant when Feifke is applying the big band aesthetic to modern jazz, especially on the back half of the album. Having set the stage with more traditional swingers, he stretches out on “Midnight Beat,” a snaky r&b-inspired jam capped off by a cheeky solo from bassist Dan Chmielinski, and the rolling grooves of “Nica’s Dream.”

There’s also an emphasis on the collective with this material. Feifke allows himself few piano solos, preferring to push others into the spotlight. Saxophonist Sam Dillon adds a Sonny Rollins-like haze to “Closure,” and trumpeter Benny Benack III attacks his two solo turns.

This big band is clearly having a blast working as one, giving this whole album an air of infectious joy.