...hear lightening burst from Mandyck's tenor, illuminating the heavens with bolts of melody, while Keplinger's drums crash and roll ubiquitous thunder.
Non-stop pedal-to-the-metal creativity here. Saxophone/drum duo albums don't exactly overflow the store shelves, but these two intense artists bring a bold, headstrong urgency to a journey through perilously naked terrain.
Works of art come in differing dimensions, but Tribute proves that one tenor saxophonist and one drummer, given sufficient talent, imagination and guts, can make music as richly satisfying as any ensemble. The jazz of this CD cries out I am, I must, but it just as readily explores hidden secrets, including those perilous ones of the heart. Either way, Rick Mandyck and Gregg Keplinger charge right in, forsaking frills, niceties and gracious introductions.
This outpouring of coiled energy puts the proper spotlight on two exemplary "jazz lifers." Mandyck, whose imagination and range of saxophone vocabulary, from slurs and screams to tender lyricism, match any player anywhere, spent years making music on Seattle street corners, finally emerging to some recognition in the mid-'90s. His remarkable work on Tribute may be his saxophone valedictory, however. An injury does not currently allow him to play the instrument -- so he has picked up the guitar, a new axe on which he is already making his mark. (A chosen few are like that.)
Keplinger, power personified, is captured here as never before. Better known as a guru, collector, designer and purveyor of drums and cymbals than for his rare public performances, his fearless playing perfectly offsets Mandyck. He can be torrential, densely polyrhythmic, or the most challenging of accompanists. What he can't do is be the self-effacing routinier. Together, these two iconoclastic virtuosi open new territory, revealing a stormy, eerily beautiful musical world where they and their listeners seem remarkably at home.
1. Tweedly Dum 6'16 (mandyck)
2. Seraphic Light 8'41 (coltrane)
3. Margo Marches On 11'16 (mandyck)
4. I Can't Get Started 6'51 (duke)
5. Intersection 12'14 (mandyck)
6. Creation 8'15 (coltrane)
PRODUCED BY Rick Mandyck & Gregg Keplinger
RECORDED BY Doug Haire at Jack Straw Productions, Seattle
MASTERED BY Ross Nyberg at Studio X, Seattle
COVER PHOTO BY Melvin Waldo Bishop, Amsterdam, 1962
LAYOUT & DESIGN BY John Bishop/OriginArts
Earshot Jazz (Jason West)
It seems fitting that, only days after last month's monster electrical storm descended upon Seattle, the duo of R. Mandyck and G. Keplinger unleashed sonic shockwaves of their own upon the local jazz community with the release of "Tribute." For nearly an hour, fans of energy music can hear lightening burst from Mandyck's tenor, illuminating the ...
JazzNow (James D. Armstrong, Jr.)
Tribute is an astonishingly beautiful duo session by Rick Mandyck and Gregg Keplinger, replete with musical gestures which derive their inspiration in part from the musical forms pioneered by John Coltrane. While this music at times may evoke comparisons with the extended musical dialogues between Coltrane and percussionist Elvin Jones, the form an ...
Expose (Jon Davis)
The sax/drums duo is not an especially common one in jazz. By its very nature, this combination lends itself to very exploratory playing, even when pre-existing compositions are involved. In this particular case, tenor saxist Mandyck and drummer Keplinger take on a couple of Coltrane tunes, Ellington's "I Can't Get Started" and three Mandyck origin ...