Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

5

Dan McCarthy: Epoch

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
As intimated by the gray horizons on this album's cover, there's a silvery beauty and dusky design element at play in Epoch. Vibraphonist Dan McCarthy, a Canadian-turned-Brooklynite with a keen appreciation for suspense and patient development, tests the boundaries and borders of shadows and shape with stunning results. Elevated by the pillars of mystique and mournfulness, this statement proves beautifully gripping.

Working without drums, and tapping sui generis souls like guitarist Ben Monder, violinist Mark Feldman, and bassist Steve Swallow to bring his music to life, McCarthy is able to soften the bounds of time and summon both allure and unease. That's evident right from the start, as simple lyricism gives way to jittery energy on "A Dream, Awake." Leveraging a certain amount of stasis and stress with twitchy touches, the quartet artfully works the seam separating fantasy and nightmare. The follow-up—"Fugitive Epoch"—maintains a doleful demeanor and an ominous outlook, using Swallow's (occasional) throb, some angular movement, and the passing baleful breezes to make its case. While those opening tracks lean toward gloam and gloom, what immediately follows—"Softly She Sings Her Song"—invites light from varied angles. McCarthy's vibraphone carries a tender glow, Feldman's bright explorations figure prominently into the journey, and Monder and Swallow prove masterful in their support.

McCarthy's curious nature carries the music forward at every turn, but never more so than on "Desert Entrance," a miniature introducing his direct engagement with Feldman's violin at the outset of "Strange Medicine On The Desert." While a feeling of uncertainty looms large in the message, the music itself presents a bonded brotherhood locked into every little transition and using subtlety as its greatest strength. Ending with "A Dream, Asleep," McCarthy looks back toward the beginning. It's a disquieting departure that's perfectly in keeping with the tone of its matching bookend and this entrancing album as a whole.

Track Listing: A Dream, Awake; Fugitive Epoch; Softly She Sings Her Song; Desert Entrance; Strange Medicine On The Desert; A Dream Asleep.

Personnel: Dan McCarthy: vibraphone; Ben Monder: guitar; Mark Feldman: violin; Steve Swallow: bass.

Title: Epoch | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Origin Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Epoch

Epoch

Origin Records
2019

buy
Tucksy - The EP

Tucksy - The EP

Self Produced
2007

buy
Interwords

Interwords

Self Produced
2006

buy

Related Articles

Read Caldera / Sky Islands Album Reviews
Caldera / Sky Islands
By Jakob Baekgaard
May 25, 2019
Read Baby, Please Come Home Album Reviews
Baby, Please Come Home
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Reckless Heart Album Reviews
Reckless Heart
By Doug Collette
May 25, 2019
Read Fire Brigade Album Reviews
Fire Brigade
By Phillip Woolever
May 25, 2019
Read Day to Day Album Reviews
Day to Day
By Paul Naser
May 24, 2019
Read Theia Album Reviews
Theia
By Jim Worsley
May 24, 2019