The Leaning In Underground wanted to have fun making TAKING OVER. I certainly had fun listening to it.

Jazz in Amsterdam Records

Linus Eppinger – Guitar; Nicolai Daneck – Piano; Ties Laarakker – Bass; Peter Primus Frosch – Drums

When a band rearranges a jazz classic like “Surrey With the Fringe On Top” and calls it ‘Sorry For the Fridge I Bought ’you know someone is taking the art of “tongue in cheek” seriously. If you asked the guys in Linus Eppinger’s band, The Leaning In Underground, who was responsible, you would probably get four grins and four hands up in the air.

Eppinger’s first album, LEANING IN, was a beautifully rendered straight ahead jazz guitar album. TAKING OVER, his newest, has that, and more. Linus told me the band wanted to have fun. “Arrange songs, go for silly ideas, pretty much anything that could increase the fun of us playing it and the audience listening to it we’ll happily go for!”

Eppinger also plays guitar with The Hi-Stakes, an Amsterdam-based R ’n ’B band. Catch them live and you’ll swear you heard their tunes on a Blue Note boogaloo record or an old school rhythm ’n blues record. They write all their own material.

Wes Montgomery is Eppinger’s favorite guitarist but he also loves George Benson and Grant Green. On TAKING OVER he’s playing a guitar built by Bryant Trenier. He plugs it into a Fender Vibrolux amp from 1971 and he does not use any electronics.

The first song on the album is Cole Porter’s ‘Love For Sale.’ There may be a thousand recorded versions of this song, but Ties Laarakker’s walking bass line grabs you and pulls you in. Nicolai Daneck played piano on Eppinger’s first album, and he’s back sounding better than ever. Daneck plays this Cuban clave pattern with the guitarist strumming these gorgeous patterns on top. Like many of Cole Porter’s tunes there’s a shift between a major and minor feeling. When that happens Eppinger takes off on one of his syncopated, dragging the beat, better than bluesy solos.

Besides having a great name Peter Primus Frosch is a talented drummer with an innate sense of rhythm and timing. Eppinger says he’s one of the only European drummers in his generation that can play the music we love the way it should feel. “He’s got a big sound, a strong groove, and a seemingly endless amount of energy.”

After a Wes Montgomery-like guitar intro to ‘Primal Instinct ’Frosch unleashes a drum solo that explodes with unique beats, patterns, and improvizations.

Eppinger said the band wanted to “give a nice little twist to two of the most famous Brazilian songs in the jazz repertoire, ’The Girl From Ipanema ’and ‘Wave.’” Getz & Gilberto’s ‘Ipanema ’was sexy and sultry. So is this, but it’s more buxom and boisterous. I like Daneck’s hard bop bluesy phrasing and the way his piano slips in and out of playing double time. Everyone is toying with the meter on this, drummer Frosch’s arrangement.

On Antonio Carlos Jobim’s ‘Wave ’Eppinger said he wanted to work in some of his love for music from the late 70s; Jeffrey Osborne, George Benson, and Michael McDonald.

The Leaning In Underground wanted to have fun making TAKING OVER. I certainly had fun listening to it.