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Jay Epstein

Primary Instrument: Drums

Born: October 12, 1946    

Jay Epstein

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.

Awards

Best Dressed at Winona Senior High
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    Easy Company

    GoneJazz
    2009

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Featured recording “Easy Company”

Latest Release

Easy Company

GoneJazz (2009)

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CITY PAGES, By Rick Mason June 09, 2009 Jay Epstein with Bill Carrothers & Anthony Cox: Easy Company (GoneJazz 0902) The company may be easy, but the ideas are complex and the playing especially cerebral on this luminous summit of three of the smartest players on the Twin Cities jazz scene. Drummer Jay Epstein, pianist Bill Carrothers (who now lives on Michigan's U.P.), and bassist Anthony Cox all sport extensive résumés that include innumerable sessions with international, national, and local jazz heavy-hitters. That includes one another, but they haven't recorded as a trio since the widely acclaimed neo-bop nugget Long Ago a dozen years ago. Easy Company is an admirable follow-up: a sparkling collection of uncommon standards, surprising covers (Cream's “White Room,” the Darth Vader theme from Star Wars), a handful of Epstein originals, and a concluding suite that juxtaposes wistfulness with the heart of darkness. Distinguishing this trio in particular is the remarkable sense of lyricism each brings to the music, with touches so supple that melodies seem to glide off their instruments even while they probe the underlying depths of each piece with an endless array of expressive nuances: Epstein's shimmering cymbal work and clusters of rolling rhythms; Cox's fortuitous feints, alluring tone, and bold bowing; Carrothers's ceaselessly inventive escapades on the ivories...

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Ellis & Gretsch drums. Bosphorus cymbals.
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