...an absolutely stellar album.
Saxophonist Peter Epstein's band, Idée Fixe, has been an act of love (and obsession) since 1997. Along with guitarist Andy Barbera, Sam Minaie on bass, and Matt Mayhall on drums, the group is joined on their debut recording by special guests Gavin Templeton on saxophones and Brian Walsh on bass clarinet, as they create fully realized, spontaneously-composed music with neither discussion or forethought. The occasional compositions that do get played are minimal and are intended merely to tip the same collective improvisational process in a specific direction, always with a mind to making music that is both inherently listenable and transcends any assumed limitations associated with free improvisation. As they pursue their obsessions, Peter Epstein and Idée Fixe are willing to take the arduous route - with no maps or GPS - in order to guide the listeners to some rarely visited, but truly inspired and beautiful places.
1. PAINFULLY SIMPLE 6:35
2. FACE OF A WHALE 7:13
3. FOUR 1 5:20
4. DEEP BREATHING 10:10
5. CREAMY CENTER 6:49
6. AIR 1 2:51
7. AIR 2 3:05
8. DARK TO LIGHT 7:43
9. FOUR 2 4:45
10. ABSTRACT REALISM 9:34
PETER EPSTEIN - alto saxophone
ANDY BARBERA - guitar
SAM MINAIE - bass
MATT MAYHALL - drums
with special guests:
BRIAN WALSH - bass clarinet
GAVIN TEMPLETON - alto and soprano saxophones
Produced by Peter Epstein and Sam Minaie
Recorded by John Baffa at TV Tray Studio,
Los Angeles, CA on June 14, 2008
Mixed by Sam Minaie, Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Nate Wood at Kerseboom Studios,
Highland Park, LA
Cover photography and artwork by Andy Barbera
Cover layout by John Bishop
All About Jazz (John Barron)
Abstract Realism is the debut recording for the band Idée Fixe, an experimental ensemble under the leadership of saxophonist Peter Epstein, that has been in existence since 1997. Along with Epstein, the band includes guitarist Andy Barbera, bassist Sam Minaie and drummer Matt Mayhall. Special guests for the disc include bass clarinetist Brian Walsh ...
Freejazz Blog (Stef Gijssels)
As a leader, saxophonist Peter Epstein released three modern jazz CDs, one Portuguese CD, a solo sax record with some classical music and some improvisations, a fantastic world jazz album ("Lingua Franca"), and all this in a quite irregular time span, of which most ten years ago and not much lately. He is a musician with broad technical skills, ...
JazzChicago.net (Brad Walseth)
We recently enjoyed hearing a recording from alto saxophonist Peter Epstein (The Dark) as part of the trio EEA with and (see our review here). Abtract Realism by Epstein and Idee' Fixe mines similar veins as that edgy release, but a notable exception is the presence of bass (Sam Minaie) and guitar (Andy Barbera) - as well as special guests Brian W ...
All Music Guide (Adam Greenberg)
Idee Fixe's method to music creation is a particularly improvised route. Rather than using composed sets, they improvise the backbone of jazz collectively. However, they go further -- they had no prior discussions, no (or rare) starting points from which to build. They simply start exploring ideas together while recording, leading to a particularly ...
JazzTimes (Jonathon Goldman)
Let me first preface this review by saying that whenever I hear the word ?free jazz' I always cringe. Not that I have anything against free jazz per se ? there are some groups that do it extremely well thinking back to Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and Steve Lacy to more recent excursions by Dave Douglas, Greg Osby and David Binney. And then there ar ...
Cadence (David Kane)
Aptly titled, Abstract Realism plies the interesting waters that lie between conventional Jazz and the Avant-garde. This is the sort of progressive Jazz I find interesting: Jazz that employs both tonality and atonality; where written material serves to propel the performers into improvised flights of fancy and where the music is replete with dynami ...