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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Brad Shepik - Places You Go (Songlines, 2006) ***½

This CD has just been issued, and it's already available on, and that's how it should be. Brad Shepik is a technically very versatile guitar player with a broad musical background, from straight-ahead jazz, to more avant or balkan jazz oriented music, such as with The Paradox Trio and with Dave Douglas' Tiny Bell Trio. This CD is more on the same line as his previous mainstream jazz albums Drip and Short Trip, rather than his world music efforts on The Loan and The Well. Whatever he plays, Shepik is a very lyrical guitar player, building his solos strongly around melodic lines, rather than on harmonic progression, and he is not afraid of using odd meters. The major difference with the previous CDs is that the Hammond B-3 organ of Gary Versace has taken over the role of the bass, while Tom Rainey remains on the drums. This CD is somewhat quieter than the previous ones, with at times more American country music influences (and at times even Bill Frissell comes to mind), but Shepik keeps his own recognizable sound. Beautiful, for those who are not looking for musical adventures.