Brad Shepik


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The problem with the Brad Shepik Trio's second album is its leadoff track. The deceptively titled "A Boogie" is written in 5/4, and the melody is so skillfully woven around the tune's unusual meter that once you realize what you're hearing and start counting along, enjoying the way the melody and its rhythmic framework interact, you're going to want to just listen to that same track over and over again. Resist the temptation; there are other delights just as quirky, intricate, and fun. The weird and lovely "Rêve Pour Louis," for example, which comes next and opens with a strange modal duet section between the guitar and bass before collapsing into a soft, almost Balinese arrangement that floats more than it moves. "P.M" balances precariously between free jazz and bebop, while the aptly titled "Drip" is a blues composition built on a slow, swinging groove that eventually disintegrates into a spare dubwise meditation. Shepik is a guitarist with impressive technique, but it's not his technique that you really notice: it's his compositional style and his ability to lead bassist Scott Colley and drummer Tom Rainey so confidently into the uncharted wilds of his compositions. The fact that they can follow him with equal confidence and poise is no less impressive. Their next album can't come out fast enough.

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