Tony Lustig | Taking Flight

by Jeff Becker

Newcomer Tony Lustig debuts on the scene with a stellar line up of supporting cast members, but don’t let the word newcomer fool you, this baritone sax player has been a part of many projects as a sideman in action.  Taking Flight features trombonist Michael Dease, pianist Samora Pinderhuges, bassist Ben Williams, and drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr. who all help to create balance, and the fire needed when hearing Lustig who can take risks when needed and also color within the lines of conformity when necessary. For these reasons Taking Flight stands head and shoulders above its contemporaries.

A Horace Silver version of “Change is Coming” is bright and uplifting, and Lustig and Dease offer hints of “I’m Beginning to See the Light,” laced into their solos.  “Fraytown” is a refreshingly swingin’ lorry to the game changing “Prometheus,” muscular, modern and a blowfest of proportional size, worthy of the New York jazz scene where each of these players reside, when not on tour.

A mixture of well-conceived numbers follow “For Wayne” is introspective yet profound “Serving It Up” digs into the funkmosphere reminiscent of the Adderley vibe, and “On The Wings Of Icarus” offers the listener a waltz of high flying fancy with the best dance card players firmly taking you through the latest steps. To sum things up a befitting jazz blues number “Burnin’ Grease,” relegates the end to a fun filled goodbye that leaves you ready to take the journey again and again.  Lustig set out to create a release that would reflect all of his music interests and to create a bridge for any listener with any background.  Taking Flight offers this aspect to the listener, along with top-shelf playing and depth beyond just an idea.  Highly Recommended!