Liner notes, Bobby Kapp Plays the Music of Richard Sussman (2023)
by John Pietaro
BOBBY KAPP, musical sojourner, has made a mission of advancing truth within his art. During childhood, back in Perth Amboy, his natural talents led to the drums and a need to carry this musical message far and wide. As both drummer and vocalist, Kapp’s flights, built of the improvisational moment, guided forays throughout the US, into Cuba, and then Mexico, his base since the 1990s, shredding the soundscape with such legends as Marion Brown, Gato Barbieri, Gene Perla, Matt Shipp, Dave Burrell and Ivo Perlman. His canon is one most empathic.
Kapp’s road-less-traveled is now walked in the company
of composer and pianist Richard Sussman, another icon of sounds bold and unique.
“I’ve spent most of my career playing free; the “compositions” began with the
red light in the studio”, Kapp explained. Yet, in his 81st year, he
commissioned Sussman to write an album’s worth of pieces which take
orchestration toward its most vexing, compelling the ear toward a deeper listening.
With Synergy: Bobby Kapp Plays the Music of Richard Sussman, the veteran
improvisor revels in colors reminiscent of Gil Evans’ explorations. But the chordal
clouds of another Miles compatriot, pianist/composer Bill Evans, also thrives amid
this mesmerizing, expansive ensemble and its leader’s dynamic time machine. Watch
carefully and you’ll almost see the sounds draining off the nib of Sussman’s calligraphy
pen. Throughout, Bobby Kapp’s course of empathy is matched only by the restless
surge of change.
Cast, sojourner, so transient be your berth!