Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Bobby Kapp: Synergy


Bobby Kapp: Synergy


Sign in to view read count
Bobby Kapp: Synergy
The subtitle of Synergy is "Bobby Kapp plays the music of Richard Sussman," which is true to some extent. To be more precise, drummer Kapp is at the heart of a septet, conducted by Scott Reeves, that features composer Sussman at the piano. So, while "Bobby Kapp plays" is technically correct, it does not represent the whole picture.

What is more, this is a group with a rather unusual front line of violin, clarinet, tenor sax and French horn. If in any way that hinders the expression of Sussman's forward-leaning compositions and charts (he wrote and arranged every number), it is not apparent, as everyone assumes a cooperative persona and works earnestly to help ensure the enterprise's success.

Kapp, now in his ninth decade and a key component in that success, more than holds his own among his younger colleagues, supporting well and taking a number of crisp solos. As for Sussman's music, it bears traces of Gil Evans, Lennie Tristano, Don Ellis, Jimmy Giuffre, Florian Ross and other modernists, but always with a fresh voice and unique posture whose singularity sets it apart.

Having that uncommon front line is clearly an asset as well. Speaking of which, French hornist John Clark is an impressive soloist, as are tenor saxophonist Abraham Burton, clarinetist Aaron Irwin, violinist Zach Brock, bassist Harvie S and Sussman himself. Even so, it is the evocative colors they display on Sussman's eclectic charts that lend the album its personality and charm.

Sussman writes allusive tone poems with titles such as "Infinite Mobility," "Inner Space," "Trance Dance" and "Radioactive," reliable indicators of his concept and purpose. It is one that Kapp heartily endorses, as do his partners in the septet. Their expertise and enthusiasm help raise Synergy above the norm, while lending credence to Knapp's decision to "play the music of Richard Sussman."

Track Listing

Tweed Boulevard; Infinite Mobility; Inner Space; From the Heart; Synergy; Trance Dance; Whirling Dervish; Radioactive.


Zach Brock
Aaron Irwin
saxophone, alto
Abraham Burton
saxophone, alto
John Clark
french horn
Harvie S
bass, acoustic

Album information

Title: Synergy | Year Released: 2023 | Record Label: Self Produced

< Previous
The Gori Project II

Next >



For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.


Where Did You Go?
Sandman Project
Moritz Stahl
The Cold Arrow
Gregorio / Smith / Bryerton
Nicole McCabe


Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.