All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

252

Brad Shepik Trio: Places You Go

Matt Cibula By

Sign in to view read count
Brad Shepik is a very good guitarist, but there are a lot of other people out there who can match that description. He has assembled a nice trio here featuring Gary Versace's canny Hammond B-3 work and the nifty drumming of Tom Rainey, but there are a lot of guitar trios fighting for space in the jazz world. So what makes this album special?

One reason is the fact that Shepik seems pretty comfortable in a whole lot of different genres. Opener "Témoin" sounds like early-1970s fusion jazz, right after the whole "we must rock harder than rockers" phase, but before the "we must lull everyone to sleep with our mellow goodness" period. It cooks, but not at the expense of group interplay; Shepik is still playing notes on his solos instead of power chords, and Rainey is reined in enough so that he can concentrate on driving the song. Kudos to Versace for providing a whole lot of support without getting all antsy for attention, and more kudos for having a great ELP sound but playing quietly.

They revisit this sound two-three more times here (especially on the Tony Williams Lifetime-sounding "Tides"), but that's not the only trick up their sleeves. "Air" rides a circular structure, sounding like classical folk music gone downtown until Versache's forward-thinking solo shifts the piece into post bop mode. "Five and Dime" is glacially cool blues; "As Was" sounds all Metheny-esque, but turns out to be more of a tribute than a ripoff; and "Crossing" is funkier than you think it's going to be. On "Return," they revisit the whole alt.country post-rock sound that Shepik does so well as part of J.A. Granelli's band Mr. Lucky. And they pretty much hit every single one of these genres during "The South."

But being conversant with a lot of different styles isn't the best thing about this trio. The real reason this album stands out has to do with Shepik's compositions. They are not complicated songs, but they have twists and turns and tricks galore. And there is a lot of beauty here as well—the melody of "Frozen" is pretty indelible, and all the tweaks and inversions that Shepik and Versace throw at it just serve to engrave it even further into the memory. And the spooky-lovely "Batur" begins with a pointillist section that is then slowed and repeated as a mini-fugue; this theme survives intact when Rainey decides to make the piece rock a little and Shepik and Versace start to chase each other all over the track.

This doesn't really expand the jazz canon or anything, but it sure sounds beautiful and tough. More of this please, Mr. Shepik; we need it badly.


Track Listing: Temoin; Air; Return; Crossing; Five and Dime; The South; As Was; Frozen; Batur; Tides.

Personnel: Brad Shepik: guitar; Gary Versace: Hammond B-3 organ; Tom Rainey: drums.

Title: Places You Go | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Hi-Res Jazz
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Quartet 1991

Quartet 1991

Songlines Recordings
2016

buy
Top Down

Top Down

Self Produced
2016

buy
Across The Way

Across The Way

Songlines Recordings
2011

buy
Human Activity Suite

Human Activity Suite

Songlines Recordings
2009

buy
Places You Go

Places You Go

Songlines Recordings
2007

buy
The Well

The Well

Songlines Recordings
2003

buy

Related Articles

Read Bright Force CD/LP/Track Review
Bright Force
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Making Other Arrangements CD/LP/Track Review
Making Other Arrangements
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Music in Motian CD/LP/Track Review
Music in Motian
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Descansado - Songs For Films CD/LP/Track Review
Descansado - Songs For Films
by John Ephland
Published: April 19, 2018
Read Simbiose CD/LP/Track Review
Simbiose
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 18, 2018
Read For Lew CD/LP/Track Review
For Lew
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 18, 2018
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Chris Mosey
Published: April 10, 2018
Read "Rediscovered Ellington" CD/LP/Track Review Rediscovered Ellington
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: August 29, 2017
Read "Just Left of Center" CD/LP/Track Review Just Left of Center
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 7, 2017
Read "Ravensburg" CD/LP/Track Review Ravensburg
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: March 17, 2018
Read "Gonimoblast Live" CD/LP/Track Review Gonimoblast Live
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 25, 2017
Read "Tomeka Reid Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Tomeka Reid Quartet
by Patrick Burnette
Published: September 28, 2017