If anyone needed a reminder that we have an amazing depth of jazz talent in the Twin Cities, they would find it in the solid new release from the Joel Shapira Quartet, Open Lines. Dispensing classic jazz guitar sound from his Gibson, Joel Shapira has been very busy having also just released his second duet album with vocalist Charmin Michelle, Dawning and Daylight. Although he co-founded and has recorded two great albums with the trio Triplicate, this is Joel's first recording leading a quartet. For his quartet project Joel recruited tenor saxophonist Pete Whitman. Whitman is well known as the composer and bandleader behind the Pete Whitman X-tet (which got a four star review from Downbeat) but here he demonstrates his astounding ability as a soloist. Filling out the quartet are first-call bassist Tom Lewis and drummer Dave Schmalenberger. Taking their set list from instrumental favorites including compositions by jazz greats Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Ornette Coleman, etc., they sho...
Reviews for Open Lines
Over the past few months, Twin Cities-based guitarist Joel Shapira and his quartet have been previewing Open Lines, a spirited set that brings together an outstanding bop and beyond ensemble with saxophonist Pete Whitman, bassist Tom Lewis and drummer Dave Schmalenberger. On May 19 at Hell’s Kitchen, Open Lines finally gets its proper CD Release Party.
Guitarist Joel Shapira and his quartet have been previewing Open Lines, a spirited set that brings together an outstanding bop and beyond ensemble with saxophonist Pete Whitman, bassist Tom Lewis and drummer Dave Schmalenberger. They aired some of these tunes at Hell’s Kitchen last week and an official CD release party is in the works. But meanwhile, the new CD is available from Joel, one of the busier artists in the metro –with this quartet, Pooch’s Playhouse, his duo with Charmin Michelle (Charmin & Shapira) and an occasional gig with Triplicate, as well as frequent supporting roles for area vocalists.