Brad Shepik and The Commuters: The Loan

Ah, the art of improvised music! You know this band gigs at The Knitting Factory even before you read liner credits or search the Internet for bio information (omitted from liner notes). Leader Brad Shepik makes his recorded debut with a seamless blend of folk music of Turkey, the Arab world and North Africa, and the Balkans, seasoned with jazz, rock and blues improvs. Shepik (formerly Schoeppach) has apprenticed in improvisatory bands such as Paradox Trio, Pachora and others, and as a regular member of Paul Motian’s Electric BeBop band and Carla Bley’s Escalator Over the Hill. His impressive mastery of the soft-edged musical mix and his virtuosity on stringed instruments (electric, acoustic and Portuguese guitars, electric saz, banjo and cumbus) yield a delightful outing. The Commuters-saxophonist Peter Epstein, bassist Tony Scherr, drummer Kenny Wollesen and percussionist/dumbek player Seido Salifoski-all experienced world travelers-have packed their instrumental (and mental) bags for this agreeable nine-tune journey worthy of repeated listening.