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...

8

Peter Epstein Quartet: Polarities

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
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 suffered one bit from the change of scenery. Polarities finds him in strong form, working with and against three of his longtime musical friends; this album may mark the first time that Epstein, trumpeter Ralph Alessi, bassist Sam Minaie, and drummer Mark Ferber were recorded as a single unit, but the saxophonist's ties with each man run deep.

Polarities presents as a wholly cohesive album, yet each track is an island unto itself. One piece may come off as the sound of the search ("Old Yarn"); another composition may be set in motion by rhythms that are jittery, funky, and bubbly all at once, setting the stage for a down-the-road sparring match between two horns ("Forever Now"); and another may simply represent four men set adrift, drawn toward and away from one another. Some tracks give pause to admire the power of singular musicians at work, but others draw attention away from the individual, focusing on connection and separation of ideas. Listeners get to hear Alessi let loose ("Tiny Expanding Universe") and observe Epstein unleashed ("Email From Nigeria"), but this isn't music that's completely centered on soloists; it's music of a higher order that's filled with endless surprises, continually coming in and out of focus, expanding and contracting in fascinating ways.

None of these tracks are cut from the same mold, or any mold for that matter, but they're all connected by the push-and-pull, join-and-repel notions of polarity.

Track Listing: Polarity; Tiny Expanding Universe; Forever Now; Old Yarn; Email From Nigeria; Aholdu; Constance; Hurtle; Stillness.

Personnel: Peter Epstein: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Ralph Alessi: trumpet, cornet; Sam Minaie: bass; Mark Ferber: drums.

Title: Polarities | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Songlines Recordings

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Creamy Center

Creamy Center

Peter Epstein
Abstract Realism

Keystone

Keystone

Peter Epstein
The Dark

Dark Matter

Dark Matter

Peter Epstein
The GADfly

Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Polarities

Polarities

Songlines Recordings
2014

buy
Abstract Realism

Abstract Realism

Origin Records
2010

buy
 

Green-wood

Songlines Recordings
2008

buy
Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca

Songlines Recordings
2005

buy
 

Almas/Solus

MA Recordings
2000

buy

Related Articles

Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
Mønk
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "New Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review New Horizons
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 3, 2018
Read "Oneness" CD/LP/Track Review Oneness
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 9, 2018
Read "Dear Friend" CD/LP/Track Review Dear Friend
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: July 28, 2018
Read "No One Ever Tells You" CD/LP/Track Review No One Ever Tells You
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 15, 2018
Read "The Tronosonic Experience" CD/LP/Track Review The Tronosonic Experience
by Mark Sullivan
Published: October 9, 2017
Read "Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)" CD/LP/Track Review Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 28, 2018