178

Chris Bates / Jay Epstein / Chris Olson: Framework

Matthew Warnock By

Sign in to view read count
Framework is a well-written and engaging modern jazz album featuring the Minneapolis based trio of bassist Chris Bates, drummer Jay Epstein and guitarist Chris Olson. The tunes on the album are a collection of original compositions written by the members of the trio as well as two Wayne Shorter tunes and the scarcely performed, but definitely deserving more attention, "Camino de las Tropas" by Carlos Moscardini. Every tune is creatively arranged in a manner that allows each member of the trio to insert their own unique voice into the pieces, while still maintaining a strong sense of ensemble throughout.

Each member of the trio is at the top of their games on every melody and solo throughout the album. As the lead instrument, Olsen steps up to the plate and delivers during every melodic interpretation, comping section and improvised solo. His work on Shorter's "Valse Triste" successfully walks the fine line of homage and imitation as he weaves his way through a solo that is at the same time a tribute to the great saxophonist and a personal statement on the tune itself. The rhythm section of Bates and Epstein are also in fine form as both accompanists and soloists. The time and feel is steady on every track and both musicians play with big ears that allow them to catch the rhythmic cues thrown at them by Olson, which only adds to the success of the ensemble. Bates' solo introduction to the tune "Solid/Liquid" is one of the highlights of the album. Channeling lines and phrases from the likes of Dave Holland and Eddie Gomez, Bates releases a barrage of exceptional runs that are the perfect lead-in to the dirge-like melody section of the piece.

One of the most unique aspects of the album is that is was recorded by the students of Chopper Black at the McNally Smith College of Music. The fact that McNally has students that can produce an album that is professional in both its sound and mix is a testament to the level of teaching and mentorship these students are receiving at the College. Every note on the guitar rings through crisp and clear, the mix of the drums is dead on and the bass is full yet never boomy. If the trio had not written this fact in the liner notes it would be impossible to tell that this recording was not made by experienced studio professionals.

Framework is a strong release for the trio of Epstein, Bates and Olson. The tunes are melodic and harmonically interesting, the solos are energetic and the ensemble interacts on the highest level. All of which come together to produce an album that is as entertaining as it is intellectually stimulating.

Track Listing: Cullor; Yesterday's Past; Giza; Tipsy; Valse Triste; Tech Tonic; Solid/Liquid; Valse Quick; Kaf; The Rutles; Orion; Camino de Las Tropas.

Personnel: Chris Bates: bass; Jay Epstein: drums; Chris Olsen: guitars.

Title: Framework | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Self Produced


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "The Complete Syllables Music" CD/LP/Track Review The Complete Syllables Music
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Daylight Ghosts" CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "The Brightest Minute" CD/LP/Track Review The Brightest Minute
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 25, 2017
Read "Numbers" CD/LP/Track Review Numbers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2017
Read "El Toro" CD/LP/Track Review El Toro
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.