Peter Epstein and Idee Fixe: Abstract Realism (2010)
As free-form as the compositions may be, the musicians aren't necessarily interested in eschewing accessible traits. In the midst of sonic coloring from Epstein's alto sax and Barbera's guitar effects, a sly groove occasionally settles into place, as heard on the opening "Painfully Simple" and "Dark to Light." That being said, the disc also has plenty of free-for-all moments with high-energy wailing. The tune "Creamy Center" features a raucous back and forth ride with Mayhall's thundering drums blazing a trail for Epstein and Templeton's saxophone mayhem. A disc highlight occurs sans rhythm section on "Air 1" and "Air 2" with Epstein, Templeton and Walsh engaging in an all woodwind, three-way dialogue. The three are able to engage each other's ideas with a natural conversational flow.
The disc-ending title track ties together elements of hypnotic electronica, heavy metal dirge and impulsive superfluities. Dark, yet serene, the lengthy closer leaves the listener in a state of contemplation, ready to relive the disc's enthusiasm for further investigation.
Track Listing: Painfully Simple; Face of a Whale; Four 1; Deep Breathing; Creamy Center; Air 1; Air 2; Dark to Light; Four 2; Abstract Realism.
Personnel: Peter Epstein: alto saxophone; Andy Barbera: guitar; Sam Minaie: bass Matt Mayhall: drums; Brian Walsh: bass clarinet; Gavin Templeton: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone.
Record Label: Origin Records
Style: Modern Jazz