One Track Mind: Ideal Bread, “Crops” from Beating The Teens (2014)

Ideal Bread have made a career of lovingly presenting the music of the great Steve Lacy. On their previous records, The Ideal Bread and Transmit, the group trafficked in more or less straight readings of Lacy’s music.

The idea on Beating The Teens was not only to focus on the material from Lacy’s Scratching the Seventies collection, but to re-imagine it. Leader (and baritone sax player) Josh Sinton says he “recomposed, reconstructed and rearranged” the compositions.

With the soprano saxophone (Lacy’s specialty) replaced by the baritone, this music takes on even knottier textures. Lacy, somewhat akin to Jimmy Giuffre, was one of those guys whose career transitioned from traditional work to more “out” modernisms. That end of the spectrum is enhanced here on “Crops,” with Sinton and later Kirk Knuffe (cornet) taking very angular solos over the madly swinging groove put down by Adam Hopkins (bass) and Tomas Fujiwara on the drums. While my ears are reminded of both Giuffre and Anthony Braxton, this one is all Lacy.

Featured image by Bryan Murray

Mark Saleski

Mark Saleski is a writer and music obsessive based out of the woods of central New Hampshire. A past contributor to, and Salon, he originated several of our weekly features including the Friday Morning Listen, (Cross the) Heartland, WTF! Wednesday, and Sparks Fly on E Street. Follow him on Twitter: @msaleski. Contact Something Else! at