Friday, April 1, 2016

Brad Shepik Organ Trio - Top Down (2016)

Label: JLC Records 
Source: Brad Shepik

Shepik writes about Top Down- "These compositions (except Gary Peacock's Major Major) were written in the late spring/early summer of 2015. Friday evokes a wide open elation I feel working in my studio in Brooklyn. Sweet Suzy, written just a few days before the recording recalls the Meter's and the blues and was a highlight of the recording for me. There's more than a hint of one of my favorite guitarists, John Scofield, on this tune. Coincidentally, on the morning of the day of this album's second recording session, I had the honor to record a song with him along with Peter Bernstein and Adam Rogers as part of an New York University Guitar Ensemble record. Vampa has South American feel though I didn't have a specific regional rhythm in mind. The tune's harmonic/rhythmic structure leaves a lot of room for melodic invention and suggested a conversation in the trading choruses. Hall is dedicated to Jim Hall, the giant of the guitar whose influence is felt on every generation of guitarists that have come along since the the late 1950's. Something in the wide melodic intervals and fluid rhythm suggested his artistry. Top in the Middle is a bluesy AABC form however the chords deviate and suggest a somewhat difficult climb to the goal. The title refers to the inevitable mix of sweet and bitter as life unfolds. Major Major has been a favorite tune from Gary Peacock's "Tales of Another" for many years, I had the privilege of playing a session with him when I was 19. Aeolia is a circular tune with a 7/8 Balkan rhythm that reminds me of a friend who lives on a windy island. I was playing with harmonic colors and phrasing on Stumma Cake. The tune's title could be a dessert but the final two chords reflect a mild discomfort experienced occasionally by the very young."

1. Friday
2. Sweet Suzy
3. Vampa
4. Hall
5. Top in the Middle
6. Major Major
7. Aeolia
8. Stumma Cake

Brad Shepik - guitar
Gary Versace - organ
Mark Ferber - drums