This project defines what Dreambox Media is all about...nine original compositions contributed by three members of the dedicated, adventurous quartet 53 Stations.
Features bassist Dylan Taylor, drummer Skip Rohrich, Jason Shapiro on tenor and soprano saxophones, and Bob Meashey (trumpet and flugelhorn).
"Lacy" / "Follow Me" / "53 Stations" / "Sweet 16" / "Bells" / "Page 3" / "Later" / "Black Tide" / "Departure"
Download individual tunes or entire CDs in MP3 format!
What the critics say:
"53 Stations is a piano-less quartet of musicians from South Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania, and Northern Delaware. The group is firmly rooted in tradition and polished musicianship. Each member of the quartet, besides being a seasoned
veteran of their instrument, is a respected educator in their own right. The Hilltop Sessions is a collection of compositions by Shapiro, Taylor, and Rohrich. The compositions take their influence from jazz standards, Broadway tunes, classic R&B, and mainstream jazz. The highlighting features of this album are the bandís cohesive sound, precise articulation of phrases, and clear identity. The music is adventurous, but never goes so far out to sea that it alienates the listener. The album begins with Rohrichís ode to saxophonist/
composer Steve Lacy, which features a swinging Lacy-esque melody. The band also displays their versatility with dynamically sensitive ballads like 'Sweet 16' and Latin-influenced compositions like 'Departure.' The album benefits from a clear recording quality that allows the listener to hear each individual voice and their contribution. The music is effortlessly digestible but remains edgy enough to keep the jazz aficionadoís attention. In fact, the language of each player suggests a wealth of understanding of the different periods of this musicís rich history."
"The new CD by the quartet 53 Stations could work best in bars with ambience. Its gritty uncompromising edge goes down easily, and the original tunes look back to glory days and forward to new vistas.
The group, founded by South Jersey-based saxophonist Jason Shapiro and Wilmington drummer Skip Rohrich, often plays around Philly, and was formed to celebrate neglected works of such folks as Steve Lacy, Herbie Nichols and Greg Osby. But here the neglected works are all originals by either the two leaders or bassist Dylan Taylor.
The tunes, with trumpeter Bob Meashey, are on the pleasant side of hard bop; they show no quarter, and are graceful about it. Rohrichís title track has a persuasive flow, while Taylorís 'Sweet 16' is reasonably winsome. Shapiro shows himself to be a storyteller as he unwinds a solo on his 'Page 3.'"
- Philadelphia Inquirer
"Ö(T)hey show that freedom encompasses many colors and is not limited by matters of stylistic or musical dogma.
ÖComing out of the Lacy tradition, as evidenced by the opening track, they thrive on ambiguous harmonies and large dissonant leaps in the service of restraint. They make a beautiful sound, even putting their own spin on the Blues in the succinct and contagiously cool 'Follow Me.' Muscle can be used, as it is used during the drum solo that opens 'Bells,' a study in hypnotic dissonance and its resolution. An air of nostalgia pervades 'Black Tide,' but itís almost void of recognizable harmonic resolution as it winds a slithery path forwards."
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