Titling his debut album Anthology, For Now displays the amusing sense of self-deprecation that generally characterizes young musicians. But the confident voice multi-reedist Blake Lyman displays on the recording? That came out of nowhere.
Atypical of a young jazz musician’s debut, Lyman performs own compositions. On songs like “End of the Search,” a slow blues tune with a cool stroll, “Carthage,” with its velvet bass clarinet bisecting cyclical tenor sax notes, and “Pastoral,” a love song for the perpetually heartbroken, Lymon not only displays a remarkable depth of vision, but also doubles down on its strength by including one cover, Joe Henderson’s “Black Narcissus.” The song enhances the album’s identity rather than diluting it by demonstrating Lyman’s distinct curatorial sense. Lyman’s trio mates (Andrew Jones on bass and Jonas Oglesbee on drums) share his newbie status, which makes this promising introduction even more significant. It shows that great well of young jazz talent in the Pacific Northwest is only beginning to be tapped.