Personnel: Andy Laster-alto and baritone saxophone, flute; Tom Rainey-drums; Herb Robertson-trumpet and cornet; Ed Schuller-bass
review by Kevin Whitehead
PULSE! Magazine, July 1995
If you like that angular, hoarse and soaring Brooklyn ensemble and style, but wouldn’t mind if the band swung more overtly more often, check alto, baritone and flute tripler Andy Laster's Hydra (German Indie Sound Aspects) where similar influences come into play, along with some odder ones. Laster can toss in a whiff of country melodicism without easy-harmony blandness. (He's gotta be the only musician to tour with Julius Hemphill and Lyle Lovett.) His quartet makes it all fit together: tuneful lines over stagger-stepped vamps that bassist Ed Schuller and drummer Tom Rainey never bobble. On trumpet and cornet is the mighty, nimble, nutty, undercelebrated Herb Robertson, superbly displayed on material that brings his lyrical and satirical contours into focus.