Edinburgh Evening News
Thurs 27 Jun 2002
JAZZ: An inspired sax act that hits all the right notes
Bob Sheppard Quartet
The Bridge Jazz Bar--4 stars

IF you can imagine an American version of Alan Skidmore, then you've got saxophonist Bob Sheppard in a nutshell.
    Sheppard has an inspired musical spontaneity and a dramatic playing style. Not to mention an expressive, warm tone that fluctuates from tonal ranges of dark intensity to lyrical sensitivity.
    Debuting at The Bridge with his quartet last night, it became clear that his 20 years' worth of associations with the likes of Freddie Hubbard, Randy Brecker, Horace Silver and Nat Adderley have helped him develop a well-rounded and exciting technique.
    His early musical influences, he says ranged from Joe Henderson and John Coltrane to Paul Desmond and Cannonball Adderiy. And while his material contains licks from all of these notable people, he has a style that's all his own.


Sheppard graduated with an MA from the Eastman School of Music. I mention this only because another of its alumni, guitarist Bob Sneider will be at the Edinburgh Jazz Festival next month. Which is a gig you definitely must not miss.
    The remainder of the quartet consisted of Steve Hamilton on piano, Jeff D'Angelo on bass and Bill Kyle on drums. Hamilton is held in high regard by most of Edinburgh's piano luminaries. He was undemonstrative, yet highly imaginative.
    Bassist D'Angelo, all the way from LA, put in a tremendous night's work. He had real artistry in the solos and laid down some nicely painted light and shade in the straight ahead stuff.
    A quick note to all the budding sax players out there. Sheppard will be hosting a Sax Master Class at The Bridge from 2:30pm tomorrow. Just call 0131-5388333 to book your place. Run ends Sunday.--Pat Quinn