Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
Bipolar was born because one morning in July 2005, trumpeter/composer Jed Feuer awakened with a fervent desire, after a long layoff, to return to playing. His aim was to start a quintet which would demonstrate variety, energy, taste and almost always, a departure from the norm. He called his pal, pianist Craig Swanson, and asked him to join forces. Craig expressed great interest and enthusiasm. Within six months, BIPOLAR was performing at Bargemusic, The Metropolitan, Room, Jazz at St. Peter’s and so on. So with Jed on trumpet + flugelhorn, Craig at the piano, Stephanie Long on saxophones, flute + piccolo, David Ostrem on double bass, and James Windsor-Wells on drums, Bipolar is paving new roads into jazz repertoires and performance possibilities. Relying on strongly tailored arrangements of tunes as wide-ranging as Bach's B minor Prelude (Book 1 of the Well-Tempered Clavier) to Debussy's Passepied to Joe Henderson’s Serenity, as well as captivating originals by Feuer and Swanson, Bipolar draws from the most unusual and eclectic pool of source material to be used by any jazz quintet.
...It's not often that a jazz band culls from multiple genres in addition to creating new music. Bipolar's approach makes for a collection that is as interesting as it is diverse. - by Woodrow Wilkins (All About Jazz)
This album blossoms with the elegance and freedom of movement and expressive ebullience versing in the vane of contemporary-bop. ...“Brahms 3rd” puts one in a pensive mood with causally strolling rhythmic beats and a drum solo that bursts out of the seams. ...Bipolar understands their craft inside and out. They shape their harmonic forms into an array of well-honed sonic sculptures that dazzle audiences. - (Jazzreview.com)
...In addition to the originals, there's Fauré, Debussy, Brahms, and Ludwig van (the presto of op. 130, of all things, with a taste of Brazil!) - all of them kicking jazz tracks. ...I'd suggest skipping your next purchase of a (name your favorite '60s label) reissue and purchase this one by musicians who are kicking it as we speak. If they're this cool in the studio, I look forward to catching them live. Don't let this disc fall between the cracks. - by Steve Koenig (Acoustic Levitation)
...the bright and bracing music; the jaunts into unexpected musical territory. Feuer thinks nothing of retooling, for instance, Beethoven (as he does with Opus 130) or Bach (as he does in the Kyrie from the Mass in B Minor). ...Each of them shine as soloists. - by David Finkle (Backstage)
Led by trumpeter Jed Feuer, Bipolar is an eclectic quintet providing original music from Feuer and pianist Craig Swanson as well as intriguing arrangements of classical pieces all wrapped up into one neat debut package titled “Euphrates, Me Jane.” ...Of the many highlights on this marvelous first effort is Swanson’s “9/13” where he demonstrates his more-than-able chops on his instrument. ...for this is clearly a jazz recording that one is bound to enjoy. Kudos to Jed Feuer and the rest of Bipolar because this recording debut, “Euphrates, Me Jane,” is one musical Tarzan of an album that swings mightily. - by Edward Blanco (eJazzNews)
...a real jazz crew in the classic Blue Note/Verve sense, the familiar tracks draw you in but the playing keeps you tuned in. With a bunch of fearless new charts that will make you sit up and pay attention. ...A solid outing that doesn't let you down. - by Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher (Midwest Record)
Grover Washington Jr.'s most recognizable hit, “Just The Two Of Us” has never been covered like this. Jed Feuer's swinging arrangement gives this quiet storm icon a nice retrofit. ...His Satchelicious (yes, I just made up that word) trumpet and soprano saxophonist Stephanie Long engage in call & response, and end up playing different phrases at the same time. ...Some people will claim that Smooth Jazz subverts straight jazz. If true, then payback was overdue. - by S. Victor Aaron (Jazz.com)
Bipolar are purists of jazz of the highest order. ...what you will hear is pure musicianship. ...riding the thin line between jazz and classical and rather than hold to a preference, they handle both on Euphrates, Me Jane. ...and the piano work from Swanson would have made people move and bow down for its majestic touches. Feuer’s arrangement of The Beatles “And I Love Her” is as beautiful as any other version released since 1964... I like this a lot. - This Is Book’s Music (The Run-Off Groove #234)
This music is infectious... Long’s flute, Ostrem’s bass and Swanson’s piano creates a wonderfully lilting feel. - by Ralph A. Miriello (Jazz.com)
Their rendition of Beethoven's Op. 130 will (very pleasantly) surprise you, & you'll hear their talent shining right through... it brings truly new interpretations to the master's vision! ...Since this is a debut album, I truly expect to hear many more from this group... they are ON it, tight all the way through. I give them a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED on this outing! - by Dick Metcalf (ZZAJ)
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