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BOOK REVIEWS

No Beethoven: An Autobiography and Chronicle of Weather Report

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No Beethoven: An Autobiography and Chronicle of Weather Report Peter Erskine 320 pages ISBN: 978-0316194754 Fuzzy Music 2013 Drummer Peter Erskine's No Beethoven reads like the random travelogue of a touring band. Quotes, letters, personal vignettes interspersed with many photographs, the book is a stream-of-conscience wave of memory and analysis. Written thus, it may be read in fits and starts with no loss of story. Pick this book up, turn anywhere, read, lay back down, and after a bit the book is finished and the enormity of Erskine's personal and professional life is ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Bob Mintzer / Darek Oles / Alan Pasqua: Standards 2, Movie Music

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Standards hold a particular fascination for drummer Peter Erskine, as initiated through his Grammy-nominated Standards(Fuzzy Music, 2008). Unlike that first album--comprised primarily of old jazz standards--Standards 2, Movie Music focuses on songs that are considered standards from the realm of Hollywood movies. Featuring music from Gone With The Wind (1939), considered by many to be one of the best movies ever made, to the main theme from Rosemary's Baby (1968), this unusual collection of songs, by necessity, has to leave out choices from a wide enough range of popular movies to fill several volumes--a risk Erskine readily acknowledges in his ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Bob Mintzer / Derek Oles / Alan Pasqua: Standards 2, Movie Music

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While the songs featured on Standards 2, Movie Music were given an initial audience through the medium of film, some of them have led a fruitful existence beyond the borders of the silver screen. Some melodies--like Tara's Theme," from 1939's Gone With The Wind--will always be associated with their point of origin, but much of Cole Porter's catalog, including the two inclusions on this album ("Night And Day" and “I Concentrate On You"), is more familiar to current audiences than the films that spawned these standards. This quartet treats both types of material with equal respect as it plies its ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Bob Mintzer / Darek Oles / Alan Pasqua: Standards 2, Movie Music

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Composers of movie soundtracks have crafted some of the most enduring tunes for jazz treatment. Names like Leonard Bernstein, Cole Porter, Krzysztof Komeda, and Ennio Maricone show up in the credits of innumerable albums, with tunes that shape moods and atmospheres, and supply jazz artists with engaging melodies galore.Drummer Peter Erskine has collected a crack quartet which has, in turn, collected ten tunes from various movie soundtracks for a near perfect jazz outing, one with that swings with the feeling of an Ellington small group outing.From tenor saxophonist Bob Mintzer's opening notes, it's apparent that this ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Bob Mintzer / Darek Oles / Alan Pasqua: Standards 2, Movie Music

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Sometimes, the most powerful statements are those delivered directly: gentle, yet forceful in their complete commitment, and without the trappings of excess.With the sudden, unexpected passing in 2008 of Dave Carpenter--the talented and busy West Coast bassist who had played with everyone from Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman to Scott Henderson, Allan Holdsworth and Lee Ritenour--drummer Peter Erskine and pianist Alan Pasqua had to find a new bassist for their longstanding trio, last heard on Standards (Fuzzy Music, 2008).Fortunately, both had intersected before with Darek Oles. Oles, who emigrated from Poland to the United ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

The Trio (Peter Erskine / Chuck Berghofer / Terry Trotter): Live @ Charlie O's

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Three Los Angeles session men with a massive collective résumé as sidemen but, with the exception of one--drummer Peter Erskine--diminutive discographies as leaders; one set of largely iconic standards; and one live set from a club where the players, called simply “The Trio," perform on a regular basis. Live at Charlie O's is a loving tribute to two men: Charlie Ottaviano the club's founder, who sadly passed away in 2008, at the age of 66; and Edmond Demirdjian, a Bulgarian artist who also passed away too young the following year at 58, and whose artwork has, amongst many other things ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

E_L_B (Peter Erskine_Nguyen Le_Michel Benita): Dream Flight

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Active leaders all--and busy sidemen as well--drummer Peter Erskine, guitarist Nguyên Lê and bassist Michel Benita worked together in other contexts, prior to forming the collective trio E_L_B and releasing their self-titled 2000 ACT debut. Busy schedules prevented a follow-up for seven years; but following a successful tour where the trio became a quartet with the addition of impressive up-and-coming saxophonist Stéphane Guillaume, Dream Flight retains all that made E_L_B such a compelling listen, while demonstrating the growth one would hope to hear in the intervening years.

Despite the demonstrable talent of his early years, Erskine experienced a watershed mark ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alan Pasqua / Dave Carpenter / Peter Erskine: Standards

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This jazz trio recording consists of pianist Alan Pasqua, bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Peter Erskine. An ongoing cooperative trio with two other releases to its credit--2000's Live at Rocco and 2002's Badlands, both released on Erkine's Fuzzy Music label, this largely intimate session was recorded with only two KMF stand-up tube microphones.

The task of selecting standards relies upon a choice largely from the Great American Songbook, with the addition of two jazz tunes--Dizzy Gillespie's “Con Alma" and the Scandinavian traditional, “Dear Old Stockholm." With the exception of a bright version of Kern/Fields' “The Way You Look ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine Tim Hagans & The Norrbotten Big Band: Worth The Wait

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The title of this album, Worth The Wait, is a specific reference for these two old pals, drummer Peter Erskine and trumpeter Tim Hagans, to join in one recording session with the Norrbotten Big Band. The origin of the title dates back to a 1974 musical meeting when Erskine was the drummer for the Stan Kenton Orchestra and Hagans was appearing for his first gig with the band in a Zanesville, Ohio roller rink. Hagans was seated directly behind the drum set and learned the mechanics of Big Band Drumming 101 from Erskine. By the time that Hagans was on ...

MULTIPLE REVIEWS

Peter Erskine: Worth The Wait & Standards

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Drummer Peter Erskine broke into the music business in 1972 with the Stan Kenton Orchestra and has not stopped for breath since. He recorded five albums in his first four years, starting in 1978 with Weather Report, and both led and played on a large number of albums for the ECM label. As one can see from his huge discography, Erskine is an in-demand drummer, and the two albums below are but his most recent from his own Fuzzy Music label. Pairing a big band with a trio recording allows Erskine to show two very different sides ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Tim Hagans / The Norrbotten Big Band: Worth the Wait

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To say that Peter Erskine is the greatest drummer ever to play jazz would be a stretch. Max Roach, Gene Krupa and Buddy Rich are among those who would have to be considered for that honor. However, over the past 30 years or so, Erskine certainly has established himself as part of an elite class that includes such names as Harvey Mason, Steve Gadd and Vinnie Colaiuta. Erskine's resume is extensive. Among those he has shared the stage or studio with are Stan Kenton, Maynard Ferguson, Steely Dan, Diana Krall, Eliane Elias, Steps Ahead, The Brecker Brothers and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Alan Pasqua / Dave Carpenter / Peter Erskine: Standards

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Representing the other half of a two-release project from drummer Peter Erskine's Fuzzy Music label that also includes Worth The Wait (2008), with trumpeter Tim Hagans and the Norrbotten Big Band, Standards is exactly what the title implies--a session of old standards with a couple of new acquaintances thrown in for good measure. In an attempt to come as close as possible to the sound produced in a concert experience, the recording was made in an acoustically live space and enhanced with two pair of KMF Audio Stereo Tube Microphones.

Performed by a veteran trio that ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Peter Erskine / Tim Hagans / The Norrbotten Big Band: Worth the Wait

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Peter Erskine and Tim Hagans shared the stage in the early 1970s as members of the Stan Kenton Orchestra, which provided a nurturing atmosphere for two young musicians and a beginning to their musical careers. After decades in divergent paths, this recording reunites the drummer and the trumpeter in another big band setting that's, well, Worth The Wait. The duo front the sixteen-piece Swedish Norrbotten Big Band (NBB), which Hagans has directed since 1996, in a live recording for Sveriges Radio P2 (Swedish Radio) at the Kulturcentrum Ebeneses in Luea, Sweden.

Playing with the NBB offered the perfect ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Bill Dobbins/John Goldsby/Peter Erskine: Cologne

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First impressions can sometimes be deceiving and should sometimes be ignored; otherwise one stands the risk of missing out on something greater. The first couple of tracks on Cologne clearly have their roots in the work of Bill Evans, specifically his trio with bassist Scott LaFaro and drummer Paul Motian. Bassist John Goldsby's playing stands out with the same kind of high-end lyricism as LaFaro, and demonstrates a similarly playful intuitiveness. Peter Erskine, one of the few drummers on the scene who seems able to fit into any context, is equally empathic, exhibiting the same penchant for colour as Motian. ...



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