Larry Epstein has played bass with the San Francisco symphony, as well as the orchestras of Miami, Milwaukee and Strasbourg (France). He hails from Miami, where he performed with the University of Miami’s jazz band.
myTunes! (cute title and smart cover art), a collection of 7 original tracks, is his first release.
With the help of Eddie Marshall (drums), Harvey Wainapel (sax), and John Santos (percussion), who have each led their own groups, and Matthew Clark (piano) and Erik Jecobsen (trumpet), Epstein displays his musical acumen as a leader, composer and arranger.Each tune on this disc has a distinct feel. The first track, "Rat Race," is an insistent, high-energy tune with Jecobsen’s powerful trumpet and Santos' percussion taking it to the max.
The next track, "Passeggiata," has a samba-esque feel to it. It opens with Matthew Clark’s inspiring piano and casually saunters along incorporating drums, bass, trumpet and sax as it goes. Some nice solos by Wainapel and another strong trumpet solo by Jecobsen lead up to some more stirring pianowork by Clark.
The mood changes a bit with the next track, "Oh, What Could Have Been," which is an extended ballad featuring Epstein’s articulate bass and sultry drums, compliments of Eddie Marshall.
"It's About Time" is another slower-tempo, deep and moody piece. It has a steady rolling groove with small solo jabs and accents throughout.Track 5, "Blue Waltz" offers a bit more depth with Clark, again, on piano.Next is "A Change Of Mood," which opens with Epstein’s bold bass. Wainapel’s sax takes over for a spell and draws the listener in while the tune moves along with smooth changes and easy rhythm.Epstein’s bass is featured in "From Then Till Now," a simple, but enjoyable ballad. Says Epstein of this release, "The music is easy to listen to, but is NOT ‘easy listening' music. The presentation is straightforward; the appeal is simple and direct" and this reviewer agrees. myTunes! is a nice first effort. I hope to hear more from Mr. Epstein.