Support All About Jazz

All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. Pay $20 and we'll hide those six pesky Google ads that appear on every page, plus this box and the slideout box on the right for a full year! You'll also fund website expansion.

I want to help

Peter Epstein and Idee Fixe: Abstract Realism

John Barron By

Sign in to view read count
Peter Epstein and Idee Fixe: Abstract Realism Abstract Realism is the debut recording for the band Idée Fixe, an experimental ensemble under the leadership of saxophonist Peter Epstein, that has been in existence since 1997. Along with Epstein, the band includes guitarist Andy Barbera, bassist Sam Minaie and drummer Matt Mayhall. Special guests for the disc include bass clarinetist Brian Walsh and saxophonist Gavin Templeton. With minimal ideas as the basis for each track, the music takes on spontaneous group thought with cohesive realizations.

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.

Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Origin Records | Style: Modern Jazz


CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Songlines Recordings
Abstract Realism
Abstract Realism
Origin Records
Lingua Franca
Lingua Franca
Songlines Recordings
[no cover]
Old School
Miles Davis Miles Davis
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
Ornette Coleman Ornette Coleman
sax, alto
Paul Motian Paul Motian
Marc Copland Marc Copland
Loren Stillman Loren Stillman
sax, alto
Rob Price Rob Price
guitar, electric
Ralph Alessi Ralph Alessi

More Articles

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus
Support our sponsor

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY IT  

New Service For Musicians!

Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with Premium Musician Profile.