Wayne Alpern – “Skeleton” – Self Released
Despite being a Detroit native, and having grown up with the Motown sound, New Yorker Wayne Alpern has completely immersed himself in traditional jazz. His compositions have shades of classical while also lending towards a contemporary jazz style. Many of his compositions have been recorded by other jazz artists. He has studied extensively, including Harvard, Yale and Julliard. In thinking about the “Skeletons” release, Halpern decided he wanted to stylistically return to some of his early works. What results are fourteen tracks of some original works and also covers of a pretty diverse cross section of artists. There is a very good rendition of Dave Brubeck’s classic “Take Five.” Also included is a cover of “IGY” by Donald Fagen. Mostly, the included tracks are pretty upbeat, something Alpern wanted to do on purpose. He wanted a “more danceable sound” and most of the tracks portray that. At the end of it, however, this is an expertly composed, tightly arranged, upbeat, traditional jazz recording.
Overall: 8; Sonics: 8