Dynamite chemistry ignites debut album from the PVR-Jazz Quartet
July 19, 2011 (Amherst, MA) Written by Robert Sutton. They are connected by a body of water, a river that runs through three counties. That might explain how the chemistry between the PVR-Jazz Quartet has the liquid flow and crystalline beauty of water.
Named after Pioneer Valley in Western Massachusetts, the PVR-Jazz Quartet has just released its debut album, Reunion, which finds the musicians brought together by their association with the University of Massachusetts producing a sublime collection of covers and original compositions.
Featuring pianist Andy Jaffe, bassist Genevieve Rose, drummer Tom Briggs, and saxophonist Jake Epstein, the PVR-Jazz Quartet formed in 2007 during University of Massachusetts' annual "Jazz in July" program in Amherst, MA. "I was presenting a lecture on ‘Digital Download and Copyright Infringement,'" Epstein recalled. "Dr. Billy Taylor requested that I present a lecture on ‘Self-Producing and Publishing Music in the Digital Age.' This, combined with my need to record, pulled together the quartet. We are all associated with UMass as students and as teachers at colleges in or near Pioneer Valley. Our drummer came up with the name to reflect that association."
Reunion is basically a tribute to Epstein's favorite saxophonists like Cannonball Adderley, Sonny Stitt, Charlie Parker, and Johnny Hodges. Epstein began playing the alto sax as a sophomore at UMass in 1965. "Performing jazz was an extension of my clarinet playing," Epstein explained.
Although he started his musical career as a clarinetist, on Reunion there is no doubt that Epstein discovered his true calling with the saxophone. For example, on "Speak Low," Epstein's sax bursts through the speakers with rambunctious energy. The youthful exuberance that fuels Epstein's performances alone makes Reunion thrilling entertainment. Combine his mastery of the alto saxophone with the tightly-knit rhythmic attack of his bandmates and the result is pure dynamite.
More Information: http://pvr-jazz.com