Jay Epstein - Long Ago

Cadence Magazine

Jay Epstein leads a most adventurous piano trio session where Carrothers matches the lyrical abandon of Keith Jarrett in a stunning version of Kenny Wheeler's ballad "Heyoke." Epstein's brooding "Balloons Over Pain" shows how freely the trio can improvise; his atmospheric cymbals and Cox's arco join prepared piano in a performance that flows into a disturbing atonal version of "Keep The Home Fires Burning" as skewed  harmonies bring to mind Ran Blake, while the final "I'll Be Seeing You," at ultra-slow tempo, conveys haunted intensity that ends in a spiral motif, a delicate moment of psychotic obsession very reminiscent of Blake.

"Long Ago" showcases splendid rapport in the interplay of the title track, spirited contrapuntal exploration of Miles Davis's "Solar" and driving modal romp through Wayne Shorter's "Lost." The uptempo "You And The Night And The Music" showcases Epstein's command of complex rhythmic dynamics as his dazzling cymbal and snare work extends the lineage of Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette. Cox is typically inventive as he structures compelling solos in "Orion," "Long Ago & Far Away," "Beautuful Love," "Lost," "You & The Night & The Music", and "Solar". Excellent musicianship combines with an imaginative program to make "Long Ago" highly recommended.

- David Lewis -



Drummer Jay Epstein leads an energetic, sometimes dark and eerie, 12-tune trio session with bassist Anthony Cox and pianist Bill Carrothers. While the threesome draws influences from the famed Keith Jarrett Trio, this is no copy-cat crew. Interacting intelligently and showing individual melody-based sensitivity, they refreshen the straightahead standards and two Epstein originals with seasoned artistry. Peak musical moments abound, especially Epstein's traps actions, to make this a unique and pleasurable listen.

- Nancy Ann Lee -