The CHRISTOPHER ALPIAR QUARTET is a modern Jazz and free-Jazz group playing original music by its leader, Christopher Alpiar. They are a group mostly of NYC area musicians and started playing together in in the mid-1990s. The release of their album, “The Jazz Expression” was recorded in 1995 at Right Track Studios in NYC by Jay Militscher and in 2012 prepared for mastering by Sean McLeroy and then mastered by Larry Anthony of COS Mastering in Atlanta, GA.
CHRISTOPHER ALPIAR is a saxophonist, composer, arranger and record producer out of his studio in Atlanta, GA. Chris’ influences vary widely but have some fundamental influences from John Coltrane, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Pharaoh Sanders. His originals are organic and fuse elements of the Jazz tradition with contemporary ideas.
PETE RENDE is a pianist, keyboardist and sound engineer out of his studio in Brooklyn, NY. Pete has been playing throughout his life and his masterful approach of the piano and his creativity, wit and humor with music brings a lot to this group’s sound.
MATT PAVOLKA is a an accomplished acoustic and electric bassist playing regularly in NYC with all manner of groups including Noah Preminger Group, Akiko Pavolka’s House Of Illusion, Loren Stillman Group, and others as well as a leader of his own groups. Matt’s creative mastery of the bass grounds the band but also extends it into evocative musical territory.
BOB MEYER is a NYC drummer from Croton-on-the-Hudson and has played extensively with Jazz legends Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Mal Waldron, James Moody, Gary Peacock and others. His unique approach to drumming brings a very fresh concept to the group and let’s the band focus on finding new grounds from which to explore.
Christopher Alpiar - Tenor Saxophone
Pete Rende - Piano
Matt Pavolka - Bass
Bob Meyer - Drums
Recorded on a Neve Capricorn console Jan 15, 1995 at Right Track Studios, NYC by Jay Militscher. Prepared for mastering 2012 by Sean McLeroy at The Schoolhouse, St. Augustine, FL. Mastered 2012 by Larry Anthony at COS Mastering, Atlanta, GA.
Here is what some critics are saying about this album:
"CHRISTOPHER ALPIAR QUARTET/Jazz Expression: After 20 years apart, this former big apple mainstay Coltrane revival group finds their paths crossing again and their angry, young man blood flows in [a] way that certainly would make Coltrane smile, in his free jazz years. Raising the bar and avoiding the clichés, this crew knows their stuff and won’t waste your time with their space exploration originals. Right up your alley [if] this sound is your alley."
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
As the first cut, Welcome (Peace for the Earth), to Chris Alpiar's The Jazz Expression opened up, I was inflowing heavy-duty Pharaoh Sanders vibes, and indeed the feeling remained throughout the disc, as Alpiar's steeped in the classic jazz tradition of Sanders, Shepp, Coltrane, Konitz, Coleman, and the passle of horns gentz who grabbed listeners' frontal lobes and reconfigured them…to no one's regret. Music like this is supposed to break through consensus norms and transform things, and Expression has no problems whatsoever in doing that. Though Welcome opens rather serenely, it's not long before Alpiar starts leaping into the skies, and the real experience begins.
Not that this is an all-blow-out session, far from it—Pete Rende's piano work is far more sedate but just as engrossing and angular—but Alpiar dominates the disc and the group when he goes to it. He can't help it, there's an inner world present that needs to escape and dance, remonstrate, and expostulate for the listener. However, since the songs are looooong, the guy gives plenty of room to Bob Meyer (drums) and Matt Pavolka (bass) as well, and so Welcome is not merely a song but a mural of four talented hipcats creating a jungle of jazz. It slows, mellows, and grooves at the close…only to have Jupiter, Deep Space set the pulse to racing again.
If you dug Charles Gayle's Look Up (here), and that is one knock-out disc, Alpiar moves the free modality back over into a lot more framed exposition, more—hmm, how shall I put this?—mannered, I suppose, as the intensity is nowhere near Gayle's while the heart and narrative definitely are. One thing's certain, it sure as hell won't attract any of the Kenny G / Herb Alpert crowd. There's even a bit of the ol' Gato in Chris when calming out a bit, but, trust me, once he revs up into his glorious racket, you're not going to worry too much about what is and what is not genteel, just so long as he keeps playing his brains out. Don't even think about just putting this on and doing your taxes, 'cause it ain't that kind of music, even despite the mellifluous lyrical passages. Alpiar and some of his more recent reeds kinsmen are dragging the sax back into a serious spotlight after the axe had been spending far too much time over the last couple of decades in commercial sugary La La Land.
- by Mark Tucker from the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
CD Review: JSITOP21.COM
"THE JAZZ EXPRESSION" IS A SENSATIONAL ALBUM BY THE CHRISTOPHER ALPAIR
QUARTET. THEY PROVIDE YOU JUST THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG, SHOWING A WHOLE UNTAPPED
SOURCE OF JAZZ AND BLUES. CHRISTOPHER AND HIS SAXOPHONE BLOW NOTHING BUT
RHYTHMIC SOUNDS. JOHN SHELTON IVANY
Rough translation from the Japanese "Jazz Page":
An album from the quartet of Christopher Alpiar, who has been a
saxiphonist for 25 years. He has recorded as a side-member for
hundreds of albums and participated in tours from Europe to South
America, and is a veteran of genres including pop, rock, latin and
jazz. This album is freeform jazz strongly influenced by John
Coltrane. The pianist Pete Rende is strongly reminiscent
of McCoy Tyner, and the drummer Bob Meyer reminds one of Elvin Jones.
The first track, "Welcome (Peace for the World)," has a leading
section that brings to mind the "Supreme Love" (not a reference to A
Love Supreme as far as I know, but I could be wrong), but the main
section is an expectation-defying performance. From the second
recording on, the style begins to closely reseble the powerful tenor
of Coltrane. The polysyllabic phrasing of "Jupiter, Deep Space" calls
Coltrane to mind. Moreover, in "Trane's Pain," the various elements
of the group, from Meyer's polyrhythmic playing to Alpair's tennor
howl, enable the group to come together and produce a powerful
performance which leaves a lasting impression. An excellent work.
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