CD REVIEW: Into the Night by Josh Rzepka

CD REVIEW: Into the Night
Josh Rzepka

Reviewed by Greg Cielec

Recently, some of the best, if not the best, news about a local musician has been about trumpet player Josh Rzepka and his new CD Into the Night (2011), which is currently making some noise on the national jazz charts (currently #14 on Jazzweek’s chart) and is being played on over seventy jazz stations across the country. It is quite unusual for a self-produced and released album to get this much national attention in the jazz world.

Rzepka recorded the CD at Oberlin’s new jazz recording studio and it features a solid group of musicians, all with Oberlin and/or Cleveland roots, including Jackie Warren on piano, Peter Dominguez on bass, Ron Godale on drums, Andy Hunter on Trombone, and Steve Kortyka on sax. The best thing about the album is that it not only shows off Rzepka’s talents, but also the talents of this band. Over the course of the disk they all do their part on numerous solos.

The CD has a real ’60s jazz feel to it — with a touch of Latin rhythms — and features numbers with catchy titles like “Blues for C.T.,” “Sarah’s Samba,” and “When I’m with You.” I really like the title tune, which has a real Dave Brubek feel to it, and “Salsa Queen,” which could have fit in nicely on an old Herb Albert record.

Rzepka has two shows coming up in the Akron area. On Sat 2/25 he will be performing at Winter Dance Showcase at the Akron Civic Theatre, with both Verb Ballets and the University of Akron Dance Company. On Sat 3/3 he, along with fellow musician Scott Stein, will be doing a show at the Tangier to benefit both the Copley and Firestone High Schools’ music programs.

For more information on both of these shows or purchase a copy of his latest CD, go to

[Photo: Robert J. Saferstein]

Greg Cielec is a local writer who covers mostly music and sports for a variety of publications and websites. He is also a full time English and creative writing teacher at Streetsboro High School; an adjunct professor at BGSU Firelands College and Lakeland Community College; and a football coach at John Carroll University.

He has published two books of fiction, My Cleveland Story (1998) and Home and Away Games (2006), and the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Michael Heaton has called him “the Mark Twain of Cleveland.” Check out his website and blog at





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