Dan Tepfer / Dan Tepfer Trio

Five Pedals Deep

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Dan Tepfer's third CD as a leader (and second for Sunnyside) again focuses on the pianist's polished originals. This time out Tepfer is joined by bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Ted Poor, performing pieces that he has played with some regularity prior to the sessions. The intense "All I Heard Was Nothing" gives the flavor of being adapted from a classical piece, a dramatic post-bop vehicle where the trio operates like a finely tuned engine. The furious "Peal, Repeal" suggests an endless, impossible quest, never losing steam as Tepfer and his rhythm section engage in a powerful workout. "Back Attya" also seems to have some hidden classical roots, though the jagged bass rhythm played by Tepfer gives it a very modern flavor, while Morgan's superb bass solo is also a highlight. The playful "Diverge" is rather abstract in nature, with allusions to concepts favored by Thelonious Monk and Ornette Coleman rather than just outright quoting their work. The standard "Body and Soul" is usually performed by every jazz musician at least once during his or her career, though Tepfer takes a fresh look at it with his inventive, intricate arrangement. Also of interest are the pianist's use of a brief "Interlude" at four points throughout the CD, each of which differs from the others and stands well on its own. Highly recommended.