Linus Eppinger is a young American-born, German-raised guitarist currently living in Amsterdam. He has worked with a number of fine musicians, notably saxophonist and label-mate Sam Braysher, who wrote the sleeve notes for this release. And like Braysher before him, he travels in good company, securing the services of drummer Jorge Rossy for this debut.
Rossy obviously impresses throughout, ever subtle and never pushy, keeping the rhythm tidy and neat, but it is the leader to whom one listens most closely. Relaxed and confident enough never to play an unwanted note, he sails through each song with effortless superiority. He worries away at Deedy Dede like a dog with a tasty bone, and then shows off his measured delivery on the oh-so-slow You’ll Never Know, where he chimes in perfectly with the rest of the band. Each note is clean and clear, perfect in its momentary setting.
The best probably comes last, as he walks through the concluding blues, Sitting On Top Of The World, with melancholic grandeur. Other than the three standards, the rest of the pieces are by the leader, and all stand strong, King Samuel II sounding like an old-time favourite already, while the Latin-tinged Quiet-Lee gets the swinging best out of the band.
Pianist Nicolai Daneck is a less familiar name to most of us but his contributions to, notably, Deedy Dede and I Wish You Love stand out for their intelligence. And bassist Doug Weiss reminds us yet again why he is so revered, his big, echoing bass tone and impeccable sense of swing invaluable throughout. For a debut set, this is a classy and timeless outing. Linus Eppinger should be mighty proud of himself.
Chippin’ With Bill; Deedy Dede; You’ll Never Know; On The Street Where You Live; King Samuel II; Quiet-Lee; I Wish You Love; Sitting On Top Of The World (44.56)
Eppinger (elg); Nicolai Daneck (p); Doug Weiss (b); Jorge Rossy (d). Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 14–15 June 2021.
Fresh Sound Records FSR-CD 5123