“Like a baker makes his bread, I make music...If I make the same bread tomorrow, that bores me...I have to remake it, I have to do better...I’m always looking for...the ideal bread.” Steve Lacy, April, 1976
Transmit is the second album from the Steve Lacy repertory band Ideal Bread. This quartet of expert improvisers is made up of four strong players, all considered notable up 'n' comers to watch on the modern jazz scene. Steve Lacy is considered one of the 3 greatest soprano saxophonists of all time and is a modern jazz legend, but his many compositions have not found the kind of favor in the repertoire as it deserves. Founded in 2006, the group consists of leader and baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton, trumpeter Kirk Knuffke, bassist Reuben Radding and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. Sinton studied with Lacy from 2002-2004 at the New England Conservatory, and upon moving to New York, would bring Lacy’s music to many of his introductory jam sessions. “Not many people were playing Lacy’s pieces in New York at that time,” states Sinton. “Really, it had to do with the paucity of scores, and that no one was transcribing what didn’t exist in score.” Sinton proceeded to do just that, amassing a formidable library of transcriptions from which Ideal Bread draws inspiration. The music is a continual source of challenge and inspiration to Sinton and the group;; they adhere to Lacy’s unique vision while giving each composition new life with their unique approach. They approach Lacy's rarely covered compositions with wit and swing; this is 'freebop' at its finest.
“The disc functions both as an exacting yet refreshingly unfussy homage to Lacy’s work and a snapshot of four versatile, highly sympathetic improvisers in their prime.” The Wire
“They really own this music, turning each tune inside out, never paying stale homage to Lacy but celebrating the multi-faceted nature of his music.” Signal to Noise
“The Ideal Bread lays down a serious marker for the posthumous evolution of Steve Lacy’s music.” Point of Departure
"You would assume that a Steve Lacy tribute band would for certain include a soprano sax, but that is not the case with Ideal Bread. Baritone saxophonist Josh Sinton and trumpeter Kirk Knuffke do the honors in a front line that plays Lacy's pithy, inventive, minimalist-to-stretched progressive jazz proudly. They even make some innovative moves of their own with an instrumentation that emphasizes the bottom and middle timbres of sound, rather than the high end of what Lacy offered. But remember, Lacy had worked with his share of deep-hued horns, so Sinton's baritone works well in this framework, zigging and zagging during the revelation of "Cliches," using repeat minimalist phrases, particularly on "The Breath," or in sly, modal repeats exposing slow layers for "As Usual." There's a blues component here that cannot be denied or ignored, as the horn players smolder and simmer instead of shouting out. Extra credit goes to the support team of drummer Tomas Fujiwara and bassist Reuben Radding, players who develop their rhythms in such a subtle manner as to melt in the background, yet like shadows, you know they're always present. This second volume of Lacy's music for Ideal Bread is easy to enjoy even if you are not necessarily a creative music maven, but grabs your ears while gently giving them a twist." Michael G. Nastos/All Music Guide
"Ideal Bread has done Lacy’s music a great service by showing its limitless possibilities. Let’s hope others will follow in their footsteps." Ed Hazell/Point of Departure