Peter Lin’s “New Age, Old Ways” blends cultural appreciation and jazz


Peter Lin is a trombonist with stories to tell. His latest album, “New Age, Old Ways” is an example of his willingness to address the big ideas behind his songs. Lin is joined by three talented musicians who complete the quartet. Each player has an impressive record of performances and music education experiences that prepared him for the work that has been accomplished on “New Age, Old Ways.”

About Peter Lin

Lin is a Taiwanese-American who was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. His musical education includes a B.A. in Music from William Paterson University in New Jersey and an M.M. in Jazz Trombone Studies from Rutgers University.

In addition to his professional playing opportunities, Lin is a faculty member at a Jazz House Kids. On his way to becoming a fixture in jazz scenes in New York and New Jersey, Lin studied with jazz legends such as Slide Hampton, Steve Turre, Conrad Herwig, Robin Eubanks and others. He has performed with a similarly illustrious group of musicians, among them Hampton, Winard Harper, Charli Persip, Rufus Reid and more.

Recently, Downbeat Magazine described Lin as “solid, fluid and smooth.” Lin’s recent work with the group The Lintet, titled “With Respect,” peaked at No. 4 on the RMR Jazz Charts and No. 3 on the NACC charts.

The sound of “New Age, Old Ways” by Peter Lin

Lin is joined on “New Age, Old Ways” by JD Allen on tenor sax, Ian Kenselaar on bass and Nic Cacioppo on drums. The songs’ themes range from political issues to anime to honoring deceased elders. Not to mention mantis shrimp. In eight songs, Lin and his small ensemble create a big sound and seem to take each of their themes seriously. Regardless of the theme, there is no shred of novelty in the songs.

A favorite song on the album is the track about tumult in politics and an inability to see the other side with “understanding and respect.” Titled “A Path to Understanding,” the song opens with a bass motif that is deep and sparse. The bass is joined by the drums. They create an interchange that lasts for what sounds to be only a few measures before the horns enter. The horns seem to leap to the front of the soundscape. The long brass notes sound almost melancholy against the bass and drum motif.

As the song progresses, the trombone gets an invigorated showcase. The drums roll in an almost thunderous tattoo as the saxophone takes the forefront.

The sounds presented in the song could make listeners think of the chaos that arises when people attempt to talk about political matters as of late. There is always a rumbling, just beneath the surface. And ultimately, competing sides just talk over each other until someone calls for order. The song illustrates this, but in a way that reminds listeners of classic jazz.

“New Age, Old Ways” is available from fine retailers everywhere.

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Dodie Miller-Gould is a native of Fort Wayne, Indiana who lives in New York City where she studies creative nonfiction at Columbia University. She has BA and MA degrees in English from Indiana University-Purdue University, Fort Wayne, and an MFA in Fiction from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Her research interests include popular music and culture, 1920s jazz, and blues, confessional poetry, and the rhetoric of fiction. She has presented at numerous conferences in rhetoric and composition, and creative writing. Her creative works have appeared in Tenth Muse, Apostrophe, The Flying Island, Scavenger's Newsletter and elsewhere. She has won university-based awards for creative work and literary criticism.

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