Steve Lugerner’s CD Trick

I like CDs and LPs, unapologetically. After all, your newfangled MP3s can’t do this:


That’s a diptych of CDs from Steven Lugerner, a former Bay Area musician who’s back in town Thursday night, May 26, to promote both of those releases at Red Poppy Art House in San Francisco.

I’ve gotten only an aural glimpse via Bandcamp. One of the CDs, These Are the Words, involves transcribing passages of the Torah into numerical codes that become tone rows. The results, pensive and chamber-like, are played out by a quartet of familiar names: Myra Melford (piano), Darren Johnston (trumpet), Matt Wilson (drums).

Narratives, the other CD, features a sextet of names that are new to me. Its tone is closer to regular jazz, with airy, supple horn arrangements and comforting piano. It’s music that can share a bill with Fred Hersch (and it will, at Herbst Theater in San Francisco in October).

I’m looking forward to giving each disc a listen and, eventually, to hearing the music live. I can’t make Thursday’s show, but Lugerner will return to Red Poppy on July 7.  He’ll also be at Yoshi’s Oakland on July 25 and at Herbst on Oct. 30.

And no, I didn’t write all this just to show off the word “diptych.”