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Peter Epstein and Idee Fixe: Abstract Realism

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Let me first preface this review by saying that whenever I hear the word ‘free jazz’ I always cringe. Not that I have anything against free jazz per se – there are some groups that do it extremely well thinking back to Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry and Steve Lacy to more recent excursions by Dave Douglas, Greg Osby and David Binney. And then there are other groups that, well, I would be hard pressed to classify as music.

The trick is trying to strike the right balance between some sort of structure and a total free-for-all. Saxophonist Peter Epstein, and leader of Idée Fixe, manages to do just that on Abstract Realism, the ensemble’s debut recording.

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