Label: Self Produced
Photo courtesy soulsomatik.com
|Trombonist Andy Hunter|
|Pianist Jackie Warren|
|Double bassist Peter Dominguez|
Showcasing beauty, elegance and a limpid composing mind, Rzepka unfurls the delicate and romantic (Stasis); but there is another feature to this piece of music that is intimately striking; it is heard in the clarity and full-body sound of the instruments; the resonance from Jackie Warren's sensitive piano is stunning, with the highs and lows emerging from her keyboard with the sparkling lucidity of diamonds. Rzepka's lilting trumpet, and Andy Hunter's warm, mellow, trombone paint the emotional colors of a receding sunset of indescribable hue; easily making this the most melodically memorable tune on the date.
Versatility is a touchstone of this ensemble, and with it comes the obvious question: How do these classically trained musicians handle the stylistic differences of sound, tone color and method of attack required to master navigating genres so effortlessly as to deliver (Salsa Queen) with such convincing Afro-Cuban rhythmic pungency, that scrutinizing their ancestry becomes tempting? A lengthy query; with a short answer: "They play from their hearts!" To leave absolutely no doubt about versatility, Rzepka turns his sights and trumpet to the blues (Blues For C. T.) in a tribute to the trumpet master Clark Terry; allowing Jackie Warren to echo the dexterity and lyricism of iconic pianist, Oscar Peterson (her first influence), aided by Peter Dominguez's soulful walking bass; reaching all the way down to the deepest recesses of the tune's dense groove; wringing out every drop of sweet, funky blues. The fervor of the blues is less palpable (Liam's Leaving) during passionate, witty exchanges between Dominguez and Rzepka, that highlight in-the-moment, creative, thought-composing strengths materializing out of speed of light ideas from both artists. Dominguez's responses are especially imaginative and flexible, with a rock-steady, on-the-beat pulse that embodies a silk-like smoothness which has carried his signature throughout the date.
That Josh Rzepka composed and arranged all the selections on the exciting CD certainly adds considerable luster to his oeuvre, along with his flugelhorn ballad work on (When I'm With You), and his warm, vulnerable approach on (Con Ti) as he turns and bows gracefully in the direction Clark Terry, who loved "that old mellow sound" so much that he had the Selmer Company and The Olds Company custom build his flugelhorns. The Olds Company eventually made the special CT Model before going out of business. Here Rzepka effectively appreciates his artistic currency with an aromatic mint of swelling maturity and professionalism that makes Rzepka and the ensemble, artists to follow and watch for in the future; Rzepka having expressed the desire to tour and present classical and jazz concerts all across the country.
Track Listing: Into The Night, Twenty-Five; Stasis; Salsa Queen; Blues For C. T.; When I'm With You; Sarah's Samba; Liam's Leaving; Con Ti.
Monitored through: EMM Labs Switchman MK2
Monitor Speakers: ATC SCM 50 and ATC SCM 150
Digital Editors: Sonoma DSD and SADiE 5
Produced by Thomas C. Moore, Five/Four Productions, Ltd.