Drummer Jim Schapperoew (pronounced SHA-per-o) has been working in jazz since the late 1960s. He attended the Berklee School of Music in Boston with a major in arranging and composition, and he's recorded with the all-star roster that we see on this two-CD collection of pieces from 1979 to 1993. Based in New England, Schapperoew works hard, but he's kept a low profile in the industry, preferring to create good music and know that straight-ahead jazz fans love what he does.
With this "get acquainted" compilation, we can feel the drummer's influence in driving each of these groups, ranging in size from trios through septets, through their mainstream paces. He solos with authority, giving his audience a crystal clear persuasion that centers on appropriateness of texture and voracious energy.
With saxophonist Frank Strozier, Schapperoew colors the music brilliantly, letting bassist Buster Williams provide a rhythmic foundation while supplying various musical suggestions. The quartet fills the studio with powerful straight-ahead thrills. With saxophonist Bob Mover, Schapperoew enthuses in a similar manner as bassist Steve Swallow walks the rhythm, creating a solid foundation. They're loud and raucous, however, in their pursuit of a hearty post bop persona.
With George Coleman and Tommy Flanagan, the drummer sashays through a lovely "Wave" at a live 1984 appearance in Dublin, Ireland. Guitarist Louis Stewart complements Coleman's hot tenor for an eighteen-minute sojourn through mainstream territory. Together, they make fine music.
Similarly, a twenty-minute interpretation of "Invitation" comes from Schapperoew's 1983 New York appearance with Strozier, Art Baron, Clifford Jordan, Warren Chiasson, Reggie Workman, and Phil Wilson. The band's sound does not present itself so well, as their jam session appears to be caught by accident. Microphones are placed too close to the vibraphone and drum set, and too far away from the saxophones. Still, it's an opportunity to enjoy their performance up close and personal.
Track Listing: Volume One: Rio; Stop Start; The Night Has a Thousand Eyes; Wave; Invitation; Jitterbug
Waltz; Love Letters; Lover Man. Volume Two: Wave; Ballade; Claudia; New Impressions;
Personnel: Jim Schapperoew: drums; Tommy Flanagan, Charles Farrell, George McFetridge: piano;
Bryan Carrott, Warren Chiasson: vibraphone; Reggie Workman, George Mraz, Jeff Fuller,
Phil Bowler, Buster Williams, Cecil McBee: bass; Steve Swallow, Jerry Tyler: electric bass;
Phil Wilson, Jeff Hanes: percussion; Mike Coppola, Louis Stewart: electric guitar; Frank
Strozier, Bob Mover: alto saxophone; George Coleman, Barry Marshall, Clifford Jordan:
tenor saxophone; Art Baron, Frank Lacy: trombone.
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.