Jim Schapperoew

Uranian Rhythm

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Although not released until 2005, the bulk of Jim Schapperoew's unusual second album, Uranian Rhythm, was recorded in the '80s and early '90s. Although jazz is most commonly thought of as a music of group improvisation, drummer and composer Schapperoew doesn't feel that said improvisation necessarily has to happen all at the same time. As a result, the album's best track, "Dedicated to a Beloved Family," features drums recorded in 1981, vocals and flute recorded in two widely spaced sessions in 1987, and a final mix from 1990, creating a sense of complementary rhythms laid on top of each other rather than three musicians working together. That mash-up technique prevails on most of the album, excepting the two longest and most purely improvisational tracks. Schapperoew's 15-minute drum solo "Dedicated to Tony Williams," recorded in 1979, sounds just like most other extended drum solos: extremely cool for the first 120 seconds or so, increasingly tiresome for the next ten minutes, and just plain annoying by the end. Though Schapperoew is a technically impressive drummer (there are very few dropped beats to be found here, even when he's rattling along as his speediest), only fellow drummers can genuinely get excited at the prospect of a quarter-hour of this sort of thing. However, the even longer "Music of the Duet," a genuinely fascinating 21-minute free improvisation between Schapperoew and pianist Charles Farrell, is one of the album's high points, maintaining melodic and rhythmic interest even at its most amorphous.

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