Exclusive Magazine reviews Wayne Alpern, Frankenstein

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Wayne Alpern


by Russell Trunk

Title – Frankenstein
Artist – Wayne Alpern
For those unaware, WAYNE ALPERN is a New York City composer, arranger, and scholar who integrates popular and jazz idioms with classical techniques and repertoire to create a sophisticated contemporary style of cross-genre, or even post-genre music.After years of composing complex new music, he embraced his personal history and indigenous musical culture and fused them with his classical background and training.His work includes numerous jazz arrangements, string quartets, woodwind and brass quintets, mixed ensembles, pieces for string orchestra, and several piano works.

Alpern’s innovative compositions, recompositions, and rearrangements have been performed and recorded by distinguished artists from diverse musical traditions and now he brings us his brand new album, the quite mesmerizing Frankenstein (out August 6th, 2021).

1. You’ve Got A Friend (Carole King) (5:50)
2. Thinking Out Loud (Ed Sheeran) (4:16)
3. Ain’t That Peculiar (Marvin Gaye) (3:36)
4. Send In The Clowns (Stephen Sondheim) (3:44)
5. Cantaloupe Island (Herbie Hancock) (4:53)
6. Black Beauty (Duke Ellington) (4:29)
7. Let’s Stay Together (Al Green) (5:30)
8. Dancing In The Street (Martha & The Vandellas) (4:10)
9. All I Ask of You (Andrew Lloyd Webber) (4:21)
10. More Than Yesterday (Spiral Staircase) (3:38)
11. Gimme Some Lovin’ (Steve Winwood) (3:39)

Opening on his translucent working of You’ve Got A Friend and the gentle hipsway of Thinking Out Loud, the pace gets elevated for the free flowing Ain’t That Peculiar, reined back for the quieter Send In The Clowns (Stephen Sondheim), and then we get one of my own personal favorites, the summers breeze of Cantaloupe Island.

Next up is the hearty Black Beauty and the gentle foot-tapper Let’s Stay Together, which are in turn followed by a rather rousing Dancing In The Street, a briskly delightful All I Ask of You, with the album rounding out on the lush tones of More Than Yesterday, closing on a gently frenetic Gimme Some Lovin’.

David Mann: reeds (all tracks)
John Patitucci: bass (all tracks)
Clint DeGanon: drums (all tracks)
Andy Ezrin: keyboards (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9)
Tatum Greenblatt: trumpet (2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 11)
Brad Mason: trumpet (1, 4, 5, 6 )
Mike Boscarino: trombone (1, 4, 5, 6)
Mike Davis: trombone (2, 3, 8, 9,10, 11)
Kevin Ramessar: guitar (10, 11)

I do not record the ramblings of a madman. Some miracle may have produced this, yet the stages of its evolution were distinct. After trials and tribulations, I discovered the cause of generation; nay, more, I became capable of regeneration itself.

I was like Sinbad, buried with the dead, who stumbled upon a passageway to life. Assembling my materials — bits of brawn and brains and bones dug up from the dirt — I dreamt some new species, reconstructed and revived, might some day bless me as its creator.

My hands trembling, I looked down: blink — it was alive! – Wayne Alpern, after Mary Shelley.

Official Website

Wayne Alpern @ Facebook

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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