Justin Piper - Transcend
Guitarist Justin Piper releases his second CD in a line of acid jazz discs that is revitalizing what is often rumored a dying genre of music. What is most inspiring about this statement mainly by traditional jazz purists is it could not be further from the truth. Gigs on are the up-rise, sales are up, and the next gen concert goes are coming out in numbers. Thankfully, Piper is among the full-throttled artists also in the ring, helping this grassroots effort thrive.
Justin Piper resides north of Boston where he teaches, composes and performs. His 2016 album, Avant Funk released through Arabesque Records www.arabesquerecords.com was met with resounding critical praise. Mike Greenblatt of The Aquarian Weekly called it “a fine mess of loud sound - He’s like a mad scientist with his guitar, bass, Rhodes and programming skills.” While Sylvannia Garutch, of Elmore Magazine called it “modern jazz and the hypnotic syncopation of funk, with the energy and drive of rack and fusion.”
His new album, Transcend released in August 2017 is poised to be just as seasoned, with the next evolution of hard-hitting tunes by Piper, completely performed in a layered, track by track approach and Piper once again sporting his multi-instrument prowess.
Just like Lenny Kravitz, Piper is a master of instruments and this is evidently expressed with Transcend. Piper is a regularly performing artist, in addition to his duties as the musical director for the band Ripcord, winner of Boston’s Best of 2016 “The Improper Bostonian, ” award. Piper can be found regularly performing in and around the Boston scene, leading his own group that performs his compositions along with improvisation-based pieces.
In addition to his mad scientist acid jazz ways; Piper is an accomplished classical guitarist, specializing in 20th century South American repertoire. His studies are from the third generation of Andres Segovia’s pedagogy. Piper is proud to use and endorse Zemaitis Guitars, www.zemaitisguitars.com, K-Line Guitars www.k-line.com, John Pearse strings www.jpstrings.com, Xotic Effects USA www.xoticusa.com, and Remic Microphones www.remic.dk, which helps create Piper’s unique sound.
Piper’s sophomore release Transcend combines modern classical techniques and harmony with improvisation and world rhythms, creating an immersive soundscape. Piper’s fiery improvisations are contrasted with lush arrangements pairing classical strings with steel and nylon guitar, oud and lap steel, resulting in an album that keeps you engrossed throughout, while never letting you anticipate what comes next.
Tracks (all written and performed by Justin Piper)
1. Lakeside - 2:48
2. Through Composed - 3:47
3. Camels - 4:04
4. Rondo - 3:29
5. Lenny three - 2:10
6. Falling Through the Dark - 3:14
7. Mahavishnu’s Lullabye - 3:59
8. Peace Three - 2:59
9. Fayetteville Honey - 2:39
8. Nearly Arriving - 3:33
9. Snow Shower - 3:38
10. Bugs - 1:01
11. The Line - 2:46
12. Stutter Steps - 2:07
13. Bobbing - 4:57
Guitarist Justin Piper delivers a gorgeously pastoral mix of sounds that blend jazz, world and folk. His touch is warm, forward thinking and clean, gracefully upbeat.
-George Harris, Jazzweekly
Almost an acolyte of the Peter Lang school of guitar, Piper knows his way around a few other stringed instruments as well. A nice ear opener for guitar fans looking for something engaging.
-Chris Spector, Midwest Record
A sophomore effort, Piper has proven that he understands not only the musical range of his instruments, but that he understands the emotional range as well.
-Dodie Gould Miller, Lemonwire
This is a clean, pure sound where one person can walk into a studio and create something that's, well synergistic with one's self.
-Marc Phillips, The Vinyl Anachronist
Justin has the ability to make his sound that of an entire large band - filling every track with surprises and a variety of sounds not heard before. Pinnacle musicianship.
-Grady Harp, Amazon.com 5/5 Stars