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Peter Epstein/Brad Shepik/Matt Kilmer: Lingua Franca (2005)

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Peter Epstein/Brad Shepik/Matt Kilmer: Lingua Franca How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

One of the prime factors in assembling this project was that each musician should represent a distinct musical culture. Peter Epstein (saxophones), Brad Shepik (guitar), and Matt Kilmer (percussion) home in and open the doors to a world of fascinating rhythms.

Jazz has often moved across various lands in search of its muse. This outing is made more compelling by the way the musicians bring their instruments to bear on the characteristics of the various genres and give them a stamp of authenticity. Epstein always challenges boundaries. That foresight is paramount on "Two Door, which begins on a drone before Shapik and Kilmer up the beat and Epstein brings in the strains of Hindustani classical music, from which he creates different vignettes, bathing them in the modalities of Indian music and the harmonics of jazz. Shepik shadows the feel in the slight bend of strings and the emphasis of the chords, while Kilmer gives the rhythm the inherent shape of the root music.

Further down the road they get into reggae. "Sunrise is beautifully modulated, the rhythm marking a gentle presence, the melody going askance from the bed as Epstein creates a kaleidoscope of odd patterns. Shepik gets into a more identifiable line, a skein taken up by Epstein on his return. At the end, all coalesces into a charming whole. They find a snappy radiance on "Miro that gets Epstein squeezing out some tight elongated lines that then dance and jig and soar. Shepik works the basslines and kicks in with some cavorting lines of his own on this heady tune.

Track Listing: Two Door; Miro; Emerald; Tmoin; Here & There; Monsaraz; Kumanovo; Sunrise; Meditation; Improvisation 1.

Personnel: Peter Epstein: alto and soprano saxophones; Brad Shepik: guitars; Matt Kilmer: percussion.

Record Label: Songlines Recordings

Style: Fringes of Jazz


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