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The Commons
The Arts

Pianist Stephen Page joins Bob Stabach 4tet for Guilford house concert

For more information, call Wendy Redlinger at 802-254-6189, or Bob Stabach at 802-387-4714.

Originally published in The Commons issue #416 (Wednesday, July 12, 2017). This story appeared on page C2.

GUILFORD—On Sunday, July 16, at 7 p.m., Wendy Redlinger’s Jazz Soiree will present the Bob Stabach 4tet with George Kaye, bass; Jon Fisher, drums; Bob Stabach, sax; and special guest pianist Stephen Page.

They will perform a mix of Cool jazz tunes from the ’50s, complemented by European ECM-style jazz compositions.

Cool jazz arose out of the post-World War II American jazz scene. It was a reaction to the bebop movement, which was characterized by tense and complex music featuring virtuosic performances, fast tempos, and intense syncopation. Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker were its foremost proponents.

In contrast, Cool jazz was characterized by smooth, relaxed tempos and a lighter tone and incorporated elements of classical music, exemplified by The Modern Jazz Quartet, and Dave Brubeck (in particular, his album Time Out). Other leading proponents were Lester Young, early Miles Davis (Birth of the Cool) and Gerry Mulligan and Chet Baker’s piano-less quartet.

In the ’70s, ECM Records started recording European musicians who were influenced by the Cool West Coast music — not so much its sound but its esthetic values, subdued, nuanced expressivity, and laid back, softer sound.

The music of ECM musicians Jan Garberek, Keith Jarrett, Eberhard Weber, and Miroslav Vitouš is usually described as introspective, restrained, and meditative, and their playing can be characterized by long, slow gestures rather than displays of virtuosity. They use silence and classical impressionistic devices and eschew blues notes and swing rhythms.

Guest pianist Stephen Page counts as one of his influences the ECM esthetic. An eternal student of sound, he completed his jazz studies at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and continued his studies with Billy Taylor, Yusef Lateef, and Kenny Werner.

Page worked up and down the Eastern Seaboard with such jazz luminaries as Sheila Jordan, Steve Kuhn, Greg Abate, Avery Sharp, Archie Shepp, Christian McBride, and Gary Smulyan among others.

Archie Shepp says, “Apart from a brilliant talent, Stephen Page possesses two qualities essential to a performing artist: patience and originality” Page draws inspiration from ECM musicians Bobo Stensen, Anders Jormin, and Tord Gustavsen.

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