JWQ Showcase 2017

Monday, June 5, 2017

USA: Dan Tepfer TRIO- Eleven Cages(Sunnyside 2017)

2017 release. Dan Tepfer - whom New York magazine dubbed "one of the moment's most adventurous and relevant musicians" - has criss-crossed the globe over the past several years. The broad success of the pianist's 2011 album Goldberg Variations / Variations - an improvisational exploration of J.S. Bach's masterpiece - led to packed concerts from London's Wigmore Hall, Chicago's Ravinia Festival and SF Jazz in San Francisco to events in Berlin, Prague, Tokyo, Vancouver and Manhattan's Le Poisson Rouge, with The New York Times declaring the latter performance "riveting and inspiring." Tepfer followed that with Small Constructions, a studio-savvy 2013 album with reed player Ben Wendel, as well as his ongoing collaboration with sax icon Lee Konitz. Then there was Tepfer's composing of fractal music for classical groups and his fascinating algorithmic music project, Acoustic Informatics. Now - kicking off what will be one of his most productive years yet - Tepfer presents Eleven Cages, a trio album with bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Nate Wood to be released by Sunnyside Records on June 2, 2017. The seemingly telepathic trio performs a sequence of hook-heavy Tepfer originals, two free-improv pieces and irresistible interpretations of a classic ballad (Gershwin's "I Loves You, Porgy") and an iconic pop hit (Beyoncé's "Single Ladies"). Eleven Cages features Tepfer returning to the jazz piano trio format for the first time since the 2010 album Five Pedals Deep (a Sunnyside release with Thomas Morgan and Ted Poor). According to The New York Times review, Five Pedals Deep saw Tepfer "unfurl his lyricism in great silvery arcs." All Music Guide described the album as "inventive" and "intense, " while Stereophile judged it simply "beautiful." For Eleven Cages, Tepfer sought to explore the concept of freedom within boundaries, as well as the malleability of time in music. The pianist - bred to blend his right brain and left brain with rare parity - began classical piano studies at age 6 at the Paris Conservatoire-Paul Dukas. But he took a circuitous route to a jazz career, first earning a bachelor's degree in astrophysics from Scotland's University of Edinburgh (with his thesis on "Numerical Simulations of Galactic Superwinds"). After playing extensively on the jazz scene in college and even enjoying a brief stint as an opera conductor, he graduated in 2005 from Boston's New England Conservatory, completing his masters under the guidance of Danilo Perez. The acclaimed recordings, prize-winning performances and adventurous collaborations that have followed only underscore the fact that Tepfer is an ambitious thinker in music.