Jason Stein's Locksmith Isidore's "Three Kinds of Happiness"
The upper-register trills on the theme of opener "Crayons for Sammy" evoke Eastern European roots, a reminder that Stein named his band in honor of his grandfather's trade. "Cash, Couch, and Camper" unfolds at a leisurely pace, with Stein extemporizing at length over a loping bass walk by Roebke. (Throughout, the rhythm players provide deft but supportive backing.) Stein makes his big, unwieldy horn sing plaintively on the sweet ballad "Little Bird," while demonstrating that he hasn't abandoned the freedom principle by unleashing a Dolphy-esque cascade of rapid-fire notes over the blues changes of "More Gone Door Gone." The impressionistic opening of "Ground Floor South," which features an effective arco statement by the bassist, gives way to another lyrical theme before segueing smoothly into "Arch and Shipp," the album's most "outside" interlude. Three Kinds of Happiness abounds in the hallmarks of the best small group jazz: the richness and intimacy of the sound, the empathy between the performers and their fecundity of improvisational ideas.