Sunday, September 20, 2009

Brad Shepik

There are many stories, myths and cliches about a player who is so excellent that, after hearing that person perform, other players become frustrated and throw their instruments out the window, off a bridge and/or into a river. Brad Shepik is one of those players. In fact, he's a level higher. I went to the same school as Brad Shepik for a very short time in the early 80s. Shepik (then Schoeppach) must have been nineteen at the time. When I first heard him play, not only was I inspired to toss my guitar, but the people who inspired me to toss my instrument were inspired to toss their instruments! He blew away the people that blew me away, then moved on.

I followed his career for a short time in Seattle, then he was off to New York. Shepik has gone many different directions, musically speaking. On 'Drip', he forms a trio with Scott Colley on bass and Tom Rainey on drums. The eight tracks showcase not only Shepik's excellent guitar playing, but also his skills as a composer. A highlight is 'Reve pour Louis', a beautiful and respectful 'jazzification' of the gamelan music of Java.

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