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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.
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com