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Bruce Kaphan Quartet


Bruce Kaphan Quartet is Kaphan’s third release. Musicians include John R. Burr and Rich Kuhns on piano, Jason Lewis--drums/percussion, Jeffrey Wash—fretless electric bass, John Wiitala--upright acoustic bass with Bruce Kaphan on pedal steel guitar and synth. Kaphan has contributed on various artists’ albums including Thomas Dolby’s A Map of the Floating City in addition to writing film score. Kaphan has worked for years getting just the right output from his pedal steel equipment. There is a thin line between pedal steel jazz and country. On the first track, he introduces you to that beautiful, shimmering sound of pedal steel fusion. This album is book-ended by two remarkable songs: “Æther” and “Highways Remembered.” So many have covered “Birdland” but the Quartet’s version is impeccable with piano and pedal steel flourishes while still honoring this Weather Report original. Dickie Betts would be impressed with the creative interpretation of his classic “Jessica” that the Quartet has captured with their free jam twist. “Highways Remembered” is a contemplative 7 minute journey of highs and lows, and the occasional joyful ping of harmonic nodes. This album is simply sublime. – Pam VandeKerkhoff

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