Brad Shepik Trio
"Venturing beyond styles and categories, guitarist Brad Shepik is one of today's pan-stylistic artists, from seminal gigs with Tiny Bell Trio to his own world music-influenced quintet. The quintessential postmodern musician.” – All About Jazz
It was 1998 when Brad Shepik made his Irish debut, as one third of Tiny Bell Trio, the groundbreaking triumvirate with trumpeter Dave Douglas and drummer Jim Black that defined New York’s downtown music scene of the 90s.
By the millennium’s turn, TBT had run its course, but not before leaving some very high creative watermarks, among them Shepik’s radical redefinition of the guitarist’s turf in the small group context, brilliantly working the spaces afforded by the trio’s casting aside of an orthodox bassist’s role.
As with Douglas and Black, the Seattle born guitarist has traveled far in the intervening decade, often working with Carla Bley, Paul Motian and Charlie Haden when not leading his own groups like Pachora, an environment that reflected his deep interest in other musical vernaculars from places as diverse as Turkey and Indonesia.
A certain irony then, that he’s back in Dublin in a down-home organ trio, but it’s a groove that suits his linear elegance and compositional prowess just right, and reveals a tender soulfulness too. Helping make it tick is Gary Versace, the accomplished pianist/accordionist who’s now an emerging force at the Hammond console, casually evoking the spirit of masters like Larry Young. No stranger to Irish audiences, drummer Tom Rainey also seems to thrive in this setting, his urgent pulse and eloquent rhythmic dialogue coming together with the other elements to make music that’s worthy of the organ trio’s illustrious history, but also implies where it might be going next.