Jay Epstein: Imperial March

Track

Imperial March

Artist

Jay Epstein (drums)

CD

Easy Company (GoneJazz)

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Musicians:

Jay Epstein (drums), Bill Carrothers (piano), Anthony Cox (bass).

Composed by John Williams

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Recorded: Minneapolis, 2008

Jayepstein-easycompany

Rating: 94/100 (learn more)

The lively samba’s intro ushers in the distinctive harmonic minor melody and you sense a bit of déjà vu- “where have I heard this before?” Then, images of a helmeted, heavy-breathing figure cloaked in black storms into your subconscious, as you realize the source. “Well, that’s a bit of a clench,” you may say with some justification; but these guys pull it off with finesse. A tight, free, well meshed piano trio is always gratifying to the ear and Epstein’s ensemble is all that. Bill Carrothers sounds a bit like Geoffrey Keezer gone over to the Dark Side, with well-defined phrases building the perfect amount of tension in the solo. Cox’s rhythmic support holds it together while Epstein’s independent kit work keeps the whole piece airborne without inappropriate percussive clutter. This satisfying interpretation slices through to the heart of a familiar, nay, culturally embedded theme, warping it into hyper-jazz drive with laser precision. Even Darth Vader would find its force hard to resist.

Reviewer: Bill Barnes

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