Steven Feifke – Peace in Time

No gimmicks. No bells and whistles. But plenty of originality. That’s what you’ll get with Peace in Time (2015), the debut of pianist Steven Feifke. This 23-year-old rising star has already touched the world, as his compositions and arrangements have been performed by several artists.

Performing with Feifke are Benny Benack, trumpet and flugelhorn; Andrew Gould, alto saxophone; Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, tenor saxophone; Alex Wintz, guitar; Raviv Markovitz, bass; and Jimmy Macbride, drums.

“Am I Still There for You?” is prefaced by a solo piano intro. The actual song begins softly, with the tenor and the guitar blending for the lead with only bass and piano underneath. The melody weaves a series of intricate phrases. Then after one pass, the alto and trumpet enter, making for a bright, charming sound. The pace and mode conjure a visual of a couple dancing the waltz but without the one-two-two note pattern typical of waltz music. As the instruments swell and fade in time, with one stepping out for a transition or solo, the dancing couple dips and twirls, changing their steps every so often to reflect the evolving passion. What they do when the horns grow in intensity and overlap one another may be best left to the imagination. Lefkowitz-Brown stands out during the intense parts. During the dancing couple’s afterglow, the music softens again with Feifke taking point for the conclusion.

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