Published May 01, 2014One does not often hear jazz that achieves this measure of modernity, swing and acute listening in group improvisation. The quartet — Epstein (reeds), Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Sam Minaie (contrabass), Mark Ferber (drum kit) — enliven Epstein's original works with truly ESP-like sensitivity and communication, propelling the music with a tautness and relaxed poise that is maintained throughout.
The compositions employ deft rhythmic and melodic/harmonic invention that remains true to the traditions of leaving things songlike so as to afford the greatest opportunity for the players to fill out the form. Echoes of early Dave Holland compete with nods to Steve Lacy's terse yet charming rhymes, and it all comes together with an ease that belies its complexity. This is great jazz that exists in a sea of jazz blandness (Songlines)