Peter Epstein / Brad Shepik / Matt Kilmer: Lingua Franca (2005)
When these musicians first came on the New York scene, jazz-world music was all about taking one culture's music and approaching it with the freedom of jazz (think of Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio or Klezmer icon Andy Statman). This ensemble has tastefully picked elements from all over the globe and diplomatically created a record that could only be the derivative of the most eclectic playlists. You may hear a vamp from the Eastern Bloc contrasting a bluesy solo line, with a feedback loop underneath.
By the second track you can begin to expose the overall sound of the recording; it is a mash-up infused with stylistic elements from all over the globe. The instrumentation and arrangements, most notably the hand drumming and odd meters, at first unmistakably resemble world music, but the subtleties on this record show off the musicians' willingness to accept many cultures at once. A reverse loop on "Here & There adds a George Martin/Bill Frisell subtext to the odd-meter vamp; the 7/8 pulse and group interplay take the reggae jam "Sunrise and alter it into an exploration of folk music.
Track Listing: Two Door; Miro; Emerald; Temoin; Here & There; Monsaraz; Kumanovo; Sunrise; Meditation; Improvisation 1.
Personnel: Peter Epstein: alto and soprano saxophone; Brad Shepik: guitars; Matt Kilmer: percussion.
Record Label: Songlines Recordings