213

Brad Shepik: Human Activity Suite

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Brad Shepik: Human Activity Suite 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 he says, filtered through the prism of Brooklyn. If anything, the blend becomes all the more fascinating in his hands and those of his band.

A virtuosic guitarist, Shepik also plays the tambura and electric saz on this outing. The instruments serve to augment the sonic ambience of the compositions. "Stir" carves a place for the tambura, the drone of the instrument complementing the bass of Drew Gress and then the guitar. Shepik plays with a clean linearity, the melody calm in its devolution yet warm in its demeanor.

Gary Versace creates a resonant atmosphere as he wraps his accordion around the African melody of "Blue Marble." The tempo of the song shifts constantly. Shepik leaps into the framework, drinking from the fount of the melody. He knows how to get the best out of the harmony as well and turns in another eloquent performance.

Shepik envelops jazz in the arrangements. The music does not always have the primary position, but it is a palpable presence. "By A Foot" is set in jazz terrain by trumpeter Ralph Alessi, whose trenchant lines are in sharp contrast to the cool of Versace's piano. The momentum is at odds but the balance is perfect.

"Waves" is a joyous delight as it pulls in wide-ranging music from Indian to Arabic and Oriental. Shepik has fused the width among them seamlessly and the soloists take up the challenge and make it a triumph.

Shepik has fashioned a musical odyssey that is at once compelling and rapturous.


Track Listing: Lima (South America); Blindspot (North America); Human activity; Stir (Antarctica); Not So Far (Australia); Current; Carbonic; Blue Marble; By A Foot (Europe); Waves (Asia).

Personnel: Brad Shepik: electric and acoustic guitars, tambura, electric saz; Ralph Alessi: trumpet; Gary Versace: piano, organ, accordion; Drew Gress: bass; Tom Rainey: drums.

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

More Articles

Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Wild CD/LP/Track Review The Wild
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 26, 2017
Read This Is Nate Najar CD/LP/Track Review This Is Nate Najar
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Joy Comes Back CD/LP/Track Review Joy Comes Back
by James Nadal
Published: February 26, 2017
Read Apocalypse CD/LP/Track Review Apocalypse
by Julian Derry
Published: February 26, 2017
Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute" CD/LP/Track Review Live! from the Cantina: A Star Wars Jazz Tribute
by Jim Olin
Published: March 6, 2016
Read "Like a Bird or Spirit, not a Face" CD/LP/Track Review Like a Bird or Spirit, not a Face
by John Eyles
Published: March 4, 2016
Read "Vit" CD/LP/Track Review Vit
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Americana" CD/LP/Track Review Americana
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Obnoxius" CD/LP/Track Review Obnoxius
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: November 20, 2016
Read "Guitar Stories: Slack Key & Beyond" CD/LP/Track Review Guitar Stories: Slack Key & Beyond
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!