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Sam Leak/Dan Tepfer Duo – Adrift

Sam Leak/Dan Tepfer

“Sam Leak and Dan Tepfer are two of the best pianists of their generation, and their convergence on this recording is astonishing” – Marcus O’Dair Last year two of the brightest young stars of the jazz piano world got together in a studio in New York to record a suite especially commissioned for them… and […]

Sam Leak/Dan Tepfer Duo – Adrift

“Sam Leak and Dan Tepfer are two of the best pianists of their generation, and their convergence on this recording is astonishing” – Marcus O’Dair

Last year two of the brightest young stars of the jazz piano world got together in a studio in New York to record a suite especially commissioned for them… and the result is a real treat…

Described as “compelling” and “reaching far beyond the jazz loop” (John Fordham), Adrift is a unique composition for two pianos that explores the range of colours and possibilities offered by the unconventional lineup. Sometimes densely complex, at others eerily sparse; the writing is engaging and melodic, conjuring up images of a snow-brushed New York in winter.

Sam Leak is a London based piano player described by the renowned jazz radio presenter Helen Mayhew as ‘One of the brightest stars in the Jazz piano galaxy’.

The Washington Post described Dan Tepfer as ‘a remarkable musician’. He is one of his generation’s extraordinary talents as a pianist-composer of wide-ranging ambition, individuality and drive.

These two outstanding musicians came together for The Steinway Piano Festival in London for which Leak was commissioned to write a suite for the duo to play and improvise around. This first-time collaboration proved to be one of those rare musical moments and was so successful that the two pianists decided to record together in New York where Tepfer is based.

The result is a beautifully recorded through-composed Suite of real charm comprising subtle melodic themes alongside fiery passionate improvised sections – although it is hard to tell where written music ends and improvised thoughts begin. The lines between jazz and classical music are definitely crossed and blurred.

Selwyn Harris writes: ‘Sam Leak and Dan Tepfer positively avoid the knotty collisions of notes and ego that can sometimes make a piano duo hard to engage with. By creative use of space and generous support of each other’s ideas, the pair’s new extended suite is entirely gripping from beginning to end, achieving an imaginatively coherent overlap between lyrical jazz and classical traditions.’

Reviews / Quotes

“Dan Tepfer and Sam Leak share, anticipate, and enhance each other’s thoughts with a subtly crafted empathy that reaches far beyond the jazz loop” – John Fordham

“the music is magical throughout the date… constantly evolving and engaging… Sam Leak will be one to watch and hopefully U.S. jazz fans will have regular access to hearing him in concert and on CD.” – The New York City Jazz Record

“Sam Leak is one of the finest young pianists on the UK jazz scene, deserving of far wider recognition, not only for his unique improvisational skills, but also for his compositions, which have great breadth and originality, while always being wonderfully accessible and positive… this fantastic duo recording needs to be put before a wider audience” – Helen Mayhew

“Two gifted jazz pianists who are pushing each other to go off the jazz piste and into somewhere else, and it’s a very beautiful somewhere else… it’s a strong blend of boldness and fragility.” Max Reinhardt, BBC Radio 3, Late Junction
“A sensitive piano duet that flows from romance and contemplation to turbulence and joy” – Mike Hobart
“Sam Leak and Dan Tepfer’s Adrift is delightful, strong and vibrant. It is uplifting, bursting with bravado and energy, which makes listening easy yet also engaging, as there is enough going on to keep both brain and ears engaged right the way through” – Sammy Stein, Something Else
“The quality of the pianism is beyond doubt and the tone exquisite” – Bebop Spoken Here
“Sam Leak and Dan Tepfer are two of the best pianists of their generation, and their convergence on this recording is astonishing” – Marcus O’Dair