On Sneak Preview, pianist Simon Nabotov demonstrates why his playing has proven so simpatico with Steve Lacy’s: a penchant for juxtaposing disparate musical elements, for melodies that scramble across the changes, often using a tritone as a walking stick. These performances, recorded live, bring Nabotov, the composer, to the fore. The opening track is fittingly titled “For Steve,” and moves from lyrical air to Monkish flair. The title track is dedicated to bassist Mark Helias, whose contributions throughout are characteristically adroit; the piece is an unusual suspect, a shuffle with the odd beat thrown in that carries with a taste of the intrigue with which Herbie Nichols infused his compositions. “Let’s Go Baby” is a lop-sided samba that reels wonderfully around Tom Rainey’s deft drumming.
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