Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

INTERVIEW

Peter Epstein: Effortless Precision

Read "Peter Epstein: Effortless Precision" reviewed by Stephen A. Smith

This article was first published at All About Jazz in June 2001. Peter Epstein is one of the brightest saxophonists on the New York scene. Since coming to New York from jny: Portland in 1992, he has recorded with Brad Shepik, Ralph Alessi, and a host of others, on more than 30 albums. He has released three discs as a leader with MA Recordings: a solo saxophone album, and two discs of his quartet with Jamie Saft, Chris ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Epstein Quartet: Polarities

Read "Polarities" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Polarity, depending on the usage of the word, can reference opposites, the carrying of positive and negative charges, or attraction to a specific point, object, or idea; saxophonist Peter Epstein's Polarities deals with all of that. Epstein, a notable player on the New York scene in the '90s, has kept a lower profile since moving to Nevada, where he now serves as director of the jazz studies program at University of Nevada, Reno. His playing, thankfully, hasn't ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Epstein and Idee Fixe: Abstract Realism

Read "Abstract Realism" reviewed by John Barron

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 ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Epstein / Brad Shepik / Matt Kilmer: Lingua Franca

Read "Lingua Franca" reviewed by Abe Pollack

Technology and musical development have always seemed to work in tandem. Reel to reel recording made delay effects and multitracking techniques possible. Laptop processing has allowed trumpets to sound like cellos and cellos to sound like Jimi Hendrix. But the most intriguing technological advance for music in recent years has been the introduction of the iPod. Once you have spent a day listening to Balkan folk songs, The White Album and Tower of Power on shuffle, “genre" slowly goes the ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Epstein/Brad Shepik/Matt Kilmer: Lingua Franca

Read "Lingua Franca" reviewed by John Dworkin

Like what's being done by many creative musicians today, including Kenny Wheeler, Bill Frisell, and Brian Blade's Fellowship, the music and approach on Lingua Franca are better described as searching than the more common burning. Peter Epstein, Brad Shepik, and Matt Kilmer trade more in water than fire. This is not a value judgement, just a shift of intent and perspective. Though rooted in the jazz aesthetics of improvisation and group interaction, Lingua Franca is not jazz with a capital ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Epstein Quartet: The Invisible

Read "The Invisible" reviewed by Mark Corroto

Saxophonist Peter Epstein changes sound and form as needed for the different lives he leads. In one prior life he sits in a cathedral alone, playing for the gods (see this month’s review of Solus ), in another he wears a Downtown existence in Jerry Granelli’s Badlands. Then there’s his Portuguese folk/jazz (see review of Almas), Mid-Eastern music with Brad Shepik, then again his ECM chamber jazz work. His ability to morph makes him all things to most people.

His ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Peter Epstein: Almas/Solus

Read "Almas/Solus" reviewed by Mark Corroto

My ‘what I did during summer vacation’ essay would begin simply enough. “I listened to jazz.” I guess you can call what I listen too, ‘jazz.’ But then again, when is jazz not jazz? And can a jazz artist make a non-jazz record? Certainly, ask Miles Davis (sorry), ask Keith Jarrett and Wynton Marsalis, both have been exploring classical music most of their careers. Without re-igniting the ‘what is/is not jazz’ argument I venture into two recent discs by saxophonist ...


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