Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A unique recording!
Dan Keener | Denver, CO United States | 02/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Let me state right off that I REALLY liked this disc by Peter Epstein, and that it's quite unlike anything else you'll hear from Epstein, or from anyone else for that matter.Epstein is something of a rising star on the modern jazz scene; his quartet discs with Jim Black on drums and Jamie Saft on keyboards represent some of the most interesting, most original small-group jazz of the last few years. But this disc is something entirely different: solo soprano saxophone recordings of Bach's D-minor Partita for solo violin, and some original material, recorded in an Italian cathedral. I, for one, was both excited and a bit wary to learn of a jazz saxophonist trying to tackle the mighty 2nd Partita; it's not exactly an easy piece for violin, let alone saxophone. But Epstein's run through the first four movements is tasteful, elegant, and quite impressive. He shies away from the especially difficult Chaconne (perhaps the greatest 15 minutes of music ever written), opting instead for an "improvisation" on its theme. I suppose it was the judicious thing to do, but it's odd nevertheless to hear the 2nd Partita without its stunning culminating movement -- a little like hearing Beethoven's 9th without the last two "Ode to Joy" movements. In any case, you can only ask so much from a saxophonist playing this piece, and Epstein delivers all that and then some. The original material is also very engaging, providing ample opportunity to further display his technical skill and artistic refinement.The most prepossessing thing about this disc is Epstein's masterful concern with and control over his tone. He has a fantastic, unique tone that he obviously works very hard to cultivate. When you place him in the seemingly vast, echoey cathedral (brilliantly recorded), his sound really takes you away. He uses the hall almost as an accompanist, or as a pianist uses his pedals, welling up waves of sound at times, creating sharp reverberations at others. It really is a joy to listen to, and I recommend this disc highly."
2nd favorite MA recording
N. Illig | tallahasse, FL | 08/07/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Peter Epstein sure made a beautiful album here.. his take on J.S. Bach is just exquisite.. it's the most "musical" rendition of Bsch I think I've ever heard.. and mostly I don't even like wind instruments.. I mean a lot of people play bach but most I find are either too clinical and doesn't sound like the musicians are at ease with the piece or it's just stale like the musicians weren't comfortable enough with Bach.. Peter did a great job here.. the rest of the cd is good too but the Bach pieces are sublime even the improv on the piece on the piece he admits was beyond him.. it takes a strong musician to admit he's not ready to play a piece comfortably.. I give 4 stars because while the rest of the album is good it just doesn't capture me like the Bach.. it's just masterful.. hope this helps..
p.s. the album that won first place in my book of all the MA recordings I have is Dusan Bogdanovich's Levantine Tales.. check out my review for that cd as well.."