Nate Lepine, “Hennies” from Quartet: Vortices (2016): Something Else! exclusive stream

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Last September we gave you all a little taste of was was soon coming in a stimulating new album by Chicago-based tenor saxophonist Nate Lepine, one of 2016’s better jazz debuts. And in case you missed that event, here’s another reason to give Lepine’s Quartet: Vortices a good, hard listen.

“Hennies” is our second streaming premiere, this time in the guise of a Youtube video above. Like other tracks on Vortices, it’s that hard-charging, head-nodding, finger-snapping kind of jazz that revels in the energy wrung from a quick-tempo 3/4 groove.

Nearly the first minute is just Clark Sommers, and with utter silence otherwise, you can pick up the creaking of his standup bass and his fingers brushing against the strings. But that soon gives way to the swing of the whole band, locked down stone cold by Sommers and drummer Quin Kirchner. Then it’s the time-honored tradition of head-solos-head, with Lepine kicking things off and handing off to alto foil Nick Mazzarella. Both flow through notes like water churning over a leaf (guess where I got that metaphor from) with Lepine being soulful and Mazzarella contrasting with something more jagged. Kirchner brings the tune around the final bend with a bunch of haymaking fills that accentuate this sweaty groove.

Quartet: Vortices is now out on sale, courtesy of Ears & Eyes Records.


S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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