Peter Epstein Quartet – Polarities (2014)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/88,2kHz | Time – 65:43 minutes | 1,25 GB | Genre: Jazz
Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks.com | Digital booklet | © Songlines Recordings
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.
An intimate yet intense journey into abstract surrealism…
A cohesive synergy of harmonious swing. Quiet and unassuming quickly morphs into shifting meter and a freedom of expression that walks that fine line between hard bop and the more experimental. Imaginative yet wildly accessible has Peter Epstein’s Quartet and Polarities as one of the more engaging improvisational releases of the year.
Tbe somewhat melancholy vibe of “Old Yarn” develops an organic heartbeat of channeled fury while a methodical bass line is laid down by Sam Minaie. The nuanced finesse of drummer Mark Ferber ties together the more demonstrative performances of trumpet player Ralph Alessi and saxophonist Peter Epstein. Ideas flow while taking the harmonic road less traveled but these ideas still maintain a rather tangible lyrical sense of purpose. The mid-tempo “Email from Nigeria” is the epitome of the abstract groove with an odd Paul Motian feel going to a new global percussive land few have dared to visit. To attempt to pigeon hole either Pete Epstein or this dynamic ensemble is somewhat pointless. Polarities are individual lyrical thoughts that move simultaneously in either direction. The end result is rather stunning, a release to remember.
— Review by Brent Black / criticaljazz.com
01 – Polarity
02 – Tiny Expanding Universe
03 – Forever Now
04 – Old Yarn
05 – Email from Nigeria
06 – Aholdu
07 – Constance
08 – Hurtle
09 – Stillness
Peter Epstein – alto & soprano saxophone
Ralph Alessi – trumpet, cornet
Sam Minaie – bass
Mark Ferber – drums