The album is punctuated by three duo improvisations between Lehman and Taborn, who manage to interact in a way that feels authentic and heartfelt while staying utterly contemporary. And here again, Lehman makes a statement; demonstrating intimate familiarity with 60 years of experimental saxophone vocabulary – from Eric Dolphy and Anthony Braxton to Arthur Blythe and Evan Parker – and making a compelling case for its integration into a modern-day concept of the classic alto saxophone quartet album.
The People I Love is a record that bears witness to a new openness in Lehman’s music. Unedited rehearsal tapes (“A Shifting Design”) and joyous laughter at the end of a take are all left on the track — inviting the listener to take a look behind the curtain at where the music comes from. The result may be his most mature artistic statement to date.