"53 Stations" Cadence Magazine Review Jan. 2016 

53 STATIONS 

THE HILLTOP 

SESSIONS 

DREAMBOX MEDIA DMJ- 

1138 

LACY/ FOLLOW ME/ 53 

STATIONS/ SWEET 16/ BELLS/ 

PAGE 3/ LATER/ BLACK TIDE/ 

DEPARTURE 

54:42 

Jason Shapiro, ts, ss; Bob 

Meashey, tpt, flgh; Dylan 

Taylor, b; Skip Rohrich, d. 

February 1, 2007; June 9, 

2007; June 12, 2007.

53 Stations is a piano-less quartet of musicians 

from South Jersey, Southeastern Pennsylvania, 

and Northern Delaware. The group is firmly rooted 

in tradition and polished musicianship. Each 

member of the quartet, besides being a seasoned 

veteran of their instrument, is a respected educator 

in their own right. The Hilltop Sessions is a 

collection of compositions by Shapiro, Taylor, and 

Rohrich. The compositions take their influence 

from jazz standards, Broadway tunes, classic R&B, 

and mainstream jazz. The highlighting features of 

this album are the band’s cohesive sound, precise 

articulation of phrases, and clear identity. The 

music is adventurous, but never goes so far out to 

sea that it alienates the listener. In fact, the music 

has equal suitability to venues such as cocktail parties, 

weddings/parties, jazz clubs, and festivals. The 

album begins with Rohrich’s ode to saxophonist/ 

composer Steve Lacy, which features a swinging 

Lacy-esque melody. The band also displays their 

versatility with dynamically sensitive ballads like 

“Sweet 16” and Latin-influenced compositions 

like “Departure.” The album benefits from a clear 

recording quality that allows the listener to hear 

each individual voice and their contribution. The 

music is effortlessly digestible but remains edgy 

enough to keep the jazz aficionado’s attention. In 

fact, the language of each player suggests a wealth 

of understanding of the different periods this 

music’s rich history. 

Dustin Mallory
(CD available at www.dreamboxmedia.com)

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