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by Mark Werlin
The independent Vancouver-based record label Songlines Recordings was established in 1992. Inspired by the contemporary jazz music scene in Vancouver, label founder Tony Reif began recording Canadian, American, Dutch, German and French composer-performers. Over the next two decades, the core group of musicians who recorded frequently for Songlines included Benoît Delbecq, Harris Eisenstadt, Gordon Grdina, Wayne Horvitz, Francois Houle, Brad Shepik and Michael Blake. Plot a zig-zag route from Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal, to San Francisco and Reno, from New ...read more
by Dan Bilawsky
Tony Reif is calling a mulligan here. Some twenty-five years ago, shortly before he founded and launched the Songlines imprint and long before he was known the world over for his work in the production and promotion of creative music, Reif went into a Seattle studio to produce a recording for a quartet fronted by guitarists Brad Shepik and Ron Samworth. It was the first session he ever helmed, and some intriguing music was created and captured in less-than-ideal circumstances. ...read more
by Glenn Astarita
One of the modern day pioneers of integrating Balkan music into the progressive jazz vernacular, guitarist Brad Shepik's solo and session career spans a comprehensive panorama. He lingers on the cutting-edge of matters amid collaborations with like-minded artists, such as trumpeter Dave Douglas, reedman Chris Speed and other jazz VIPs. And on this quartet date, Shepik and vibraphonist Tom Beckham impart a jubilant union within more traditional jazz quarters. Across The Way is a sinuous endeavor, packed with ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
Guitarist Brad Shepik mines a lode of styles on his compositions. Shadow and light play through his music, and he is not averse to opening the door to let a swath of sunshine in. The mood is never static, the wheel of invention is constantly churning out ideas that surprise and delight. Shepik wrote most of Across The Way's tunes while he was on the road, where he teamed up with vibraphonist Tom Beckham, bassist Jorge Roeder and ...read more
by Matt Marshall
The opening strains to Brad Shepik's Across the Way--repeated six-string figures of wistful longing, tending toward melancholy, with strains redolent of Radiohead's OK Computer (Capitol, 1997)--signal that the guitarist is exploring darker, more insular spaces than on his previous effort, Human Activity Suite (Songlines, 2009). To be sure, that work, which takes on global climate change and humanity's active role within the growing disaster, could hardly be labeled trivial or lighthearted. But Shepik's tone and the music as a whole ...read more
by Jerry D'Souza
In June 2008, Brad Shepik premiered his work Human Activity Suite: Sounding a Response to Climate Change in New York. It was born out of his concern for the environment and the impact of climate change.
Shepik, who is drawn to the music of other countries, wrote one tune for each of the seven continents, augmenting the suite with three more. His compositions soak up the music of various lands, showcasing his adaptation of the folk forms--albeit, as ...read more
by Stuart Broomer
Brad Shepik's Human Activity Suite is a ten-part mingling of world music materials from various cultures and ecological concerns. Sponsored by Chamber Music America's New Works program, the project sees guitarist Shepik enlarging his usual trio with Gary Versace on keyboards and Tom Rainey on drums to include trumpeter Ralph Alessi and bassist Drew Gress. The result is downright orchestral; Alessi adding clarion leads to the guitarist's works as Gress thickens the already complex, underlying textures. Seven ...read more