Monday, April 23, 2012

Peter McEachern Quintet featuring Thomas Chapin - Shockwave (CD Baby, 2012)

When I was getting deeply into jazz in the early 1990's the saxophonist and flutist Thomas Chapin was one of my heroes. His saxophone and flute playing came out of the likes of the likes of Sam Rivers and Eric Dolphy, but with a voice totally his own. His early death from leukemia was a devastating blow to the creative improvising scene. But he is far from forgotten, as he is featured in this album by trombonist Peter McEachern along with James Finegan on trumpet, Mario Pavone on bass and Steve Johns on drums. The album as a whole is excellent modern jazz circa the early 90's Knitting Factory era. That's not to say that the music is time worn, far from it, if anything else it shows how far ahead of his time Thomas Chapin was. The front line plays blustery and strong and Pavone's rock solid bass (he was the bassist In Chapin's trio) and Johns's supple drumming anchor the whole show to let the horn players fly free. I feel kind of bad talking so much about Chapin, when it is not his album, and McEarhern's composing and playing is so good. But such is the overwhelming uniqueness and intensity of Tommas Chapin's musical persona that he dominates this album and makes it a must have. Kudo's to Peter McEarchern for making sure that this valuable session finally saw the light of day. Shockwave -

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