Brad Shepik: The Water's Thirst

Track

The Water's Thirst

Artist

Brad Shepik (guitar)

CD

The Loan (Songlines 1518)

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Musicians:

Brad Shepik (guitar), Peter Epstein (reeds), Tony Scherr (bass), Kenny Wollesen (drums),

Seido Salifoski (dumbek, percussion)

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Composed by Brad Shepik

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Recorded: May, 1996 & April, 1997

Shepik

Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

Brad Shepik is an underrated artist in the truest sense of the word. In the jazz scene, where it seems like 99% of all jazz musicians can and will be labeled as “underrated” at one time or another, Shepik’s impressive resume and prodigious skills somehow sneak under the radar in even the most investigative of jazz circles. A glimpse into his musical world reveals one of the more fascinatingly conceived discographies in recent years.

A Seattle native who settled in New York to receive his Master’s Degree in Jazz Performance/Composition from New York University, Shepik has performed with Joey Baron, Dave Douglas, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, and Paul Motian’s Electric Bebop Band, the latter of which he toured with for upwards of five years. He also maintains a healthy teaching schedule at New York University and the New England Conservatory, among others, and has released five albums as a leader.

On The Loan, Shepik’s first recording as a leader in 1997, the guitarist reveals his true musical passion – combining the jazz tradition with his knowledge of world music styles and mastery of many stringed instruments. Alongside bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen (of both Sex Mob and Bill Frisell Trio fame), Shepik presents loose, folksy jazz that rarely really swings and often features more acoustic guitar than electric, as evidenced on “The Water’s Thirst.” This tune’s easy sax/guitar melody slowly and beautifully unfolds with percussion layers, harmonic textures, and mini-stringed arrangements weaving in and out of each other. A striking track and record, from one of the few guitarists who shares many of Frisell’s aesthetic choices but offers an truly original take on this brand of world-music infused jazz.

Reviewer: Eric Novod

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