Plato’s “What is the purpose of music, if not the love of beauty?” The word is often quoted. True, as he stated in his book “The State”, “The place where music will take people is the love of beauty.” The beauties we know and are familiar with can continue to amaze us every time. I don’t think anyone has any objections to this. Being compatible is the most important element of this admiration. We like more easily what is compatible and familiar. Beauty is also hidden in this simplicity. One of the albums where beauty and simplicity feed each other very well is embodied in Linus Eppinger‘s album Leaning In.
If I were a conservatory-educated young jazz musician, I would probably want a debut album in my comfort zone, in the direction I was educated, while avoiding taking risks on my first album. Amsterdam-based jazz guitarist Linus Eppinger joins forces with the pioneers of modern jazz, Jorge Rossy, Doug Weiss and rising- star pianist Nicolai Daneck, in his debut recording. Leaning In was released on June 5 via Fresh Sound New Talent Records.
Eppinger composed 5 of the 8 tracks in the album, and the other 3 tracks are adaptations. The album was recorded on 14 and 15 June 2021 at Het Zonnehuis Amsterdam. Jordi Pujol is in the executive producer.
Leaning In is a good album. With the harmonic richness, coherence and elegance that will the real manning we can use the word beautiful. Away from excess and not taking unnecessary risks. Maybe with a few cliché expressions, it will be thoughtful, sensitive, sincere, or calmly to correspond to whatever adjective you have that will express positivity when you listen. From the first note to the last note, you travel in a certain safety. Reliable names with you on this journey keep you safe. Many people remember Rossy, one of Eppinger’s biggest team mate on this album, from his work with Brad Mehldau, but let’s not forget that he is one of the most valuable vibraphonist bandleaders alive. We last heard Rossy playing in Jacob Bro’s Uma Elmo recording. When I took a look at my notebook what did i wrote about this album, I used the phrase “an album that is not in a hurry but has a great depth”. It would be even better if I add that there is a recording of him walking on more familiar paths and swinging harmoniously. Berlin based Doug Weiss , cut his teeth in the New York jazz scene, has worked with late Lee Konitz and names such as Chris Potter and Brian Blade. Nicolai Daneck is the little-known but major contributor to the album. When your companions are reliable, your tires hold firm ground.
Future generations will continue to enjoy guitar jazz music, while young guitarists like Eppinger gently wipes his guitar, who are looking for beauty and helped by the masters in the jazz guitar tradition. By the way, this project is supported by Sena Performers and the Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst Baden-Württemberg. There are no mind-blowing ideas or jaw-dropping show-stopping performances on this album. There is no unnecessary wastage of notes. A friendly, generous and entertaining young guitarist who has the courage to walk on the path he believes in, has a first story that deserves appreciation and success in reaching institutions and people who will support him as a traveling companion.