Born: October 12, 1946
A jazz drummer with an extensive career, Jay has played in many diverse jazz groups. After graduating from college in Minnesota, he studied polyrhythmic concepts in New York with Barry Altschul, the drummer in Chick Corea's Circle. He has lived in Los Angeles, Oklahoma City, Atlanta, Miami, Minneapolis, and played in house bands for 5 years on several cruise ships. His CD Long Ago featuring bassist Anthony Cox & pianist Bill Carrothers, has garnered luminous reviews in the national press. Recently he’s returned from his 6th European tour.
Some of the notable artists he has performed with include Barney Kessel, Roseanna Vitro, Manfredo Fest, Sheila Jordan, Terry Gibbs, Greg Abate, Claudio Roditi, Gary Foster, Kim Richmond, Vinny Golia, JoAnne Brackeen, Ernie Watts, Wayne Johnson, Karrin Allyson, Kenny Werner, Howard Levy, Toots Thielmans, Avashai Cohen, and Sarah Vaughan.
AwardsBest Dressed at Winona Senior High
CADENCE MAGAZINE - Jay Epstein - Long Ago (IGMOD) Jay Epstein leads a most adventurous piano trio session where Carrothers matches the lyrical abandon of Keith Jarrett in a stunning version of Kenny Wheeler's ballad Heyoke. Epstein's brooding Balloons Over Pain shows how freely the trio can improvise; his atmospheric cymbals and Cox's arco join prepared piano in a performance that flows into a disturbing atonal version of Keep The Home Fires Burning as skewed harmonies bring to mind Ran Blake, while the final I'll Be Seeing You, at ultra-slow tempo, conveys haunted intensity that ends in a spiral motif, a delicate moment of psychotic obsession very reminiscent of Blake. Long Ago showcases splendid rapport in the interplay of the title track, spirited contrapuntal exploration of Miles Davis's Solar and driving modal romp through Wayne Shorter's Lost. The uptempo You And The Night And The Music showcases Epstein's command of complex rhythmic dynamics as his dazzling cymbal and snare work extends the lineage of Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette. Cox is typically inventive as he structures compelling solos in Orion, Long Ago & Far Away, Beautuful Love, Lost, You & The Night & The Music, and Solar. Excellent musicianship combines with an imaginative program to make Long Ago highly recommended. (David Lewis)
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