The Powerhouse Quintet
    Steve Feierabend     Bryant        Bim Strasberg
 
The Story:    
Our musical adventure started over 30 years ago when we (Bryant, Steve, and Bim),while
still in high school, discovered jazz and decided to form our own band. Having all
grown up together in Del Mar, a small beach community just north of San Diego, our
friendship actually goes back even farther (grade school). In August of 1978, after
graduation, the three of us moved to Boston to continue our musical studies; Steve
and Bryant attended the Berklee College of Music while Bim worked gigs around the
Boston area. Over the years, we all continued to play professionally but went in our
own directions, settling in different parts of the country. Only on the rare occasion when
our travels coincided did we have the opportunity to perform together. In August of
2000, however, we were invited to play as the Del Mar All-Stars in a jazz concert
series back in our home town. While Steve was still living in San Diego at the time,
Bim traveled from New York and Bryant from Portland, Oregon, for the reunion. The
experience was something of a revelation: despite our different paths, we found there
was an uncanny empathy in our musical sensibilities, and this ignited a desire to
continue performing together. With the help of our close friend, San Diego guitarist
Peter Sprague, we returned to San Diego to record our first CD as "The Powerhouse
Quintet" at Spragueland Studios. Our name is taken from Powerhouse Park where we
performed some of our first concerts together 25 years ago as well as our two recent
reunion concerts.
       The music reflects our similar backgrounds which are  rooted in John Coltrane,
Miles Davis, Sonny Rollins, and others of that generation. We hope you enjoy our
music and we look forward to many more reunions in the near future.
         Bim, Steve, and Bryant
 
Reviews:
 
Reunion of Allard’s ‘Powerhouse Quintet’ the essence of jazz
(Review  by George Fendall, Jazz Society of Oregon) July 2004
 
Reunion, The Powerhouse Quintet.  No more than a few bars of their first tune, The Chase, will make it clear
that this group is well named.  A powerhouse quintet indeed, and their collective heart is in the center of the
hard bop tradition.  Three of the five players grew up together, playing in various youth contexts in suburban
San Diego.  Studies, miles and time separated them until this southland reunion.  Trumpet and flugel man
Bryant Allard made the trip to San Diego from his home right here in Puddle City as a matter of fact.  But on
to the music.  With the exception of the ancient I’m Confessin’, it’s all originals and hard bop from the heart.
The melodies have strength, character, and confidence; the solos are absolutely invigorating and Allard
combines with Steve Feierabend on ensemble passages which are refreshing and oh so melodic.  They are
supported with great vivacity by Ivar Antonsen, piano; Bim Strasberg, bass and Tim McMahon, drums.  I’m
not sure we need to detail specific tunes here; however, let it be said that there’s some spirited writing heard
on this CD, and everyone gets a chance to resolutely shine in the spotlight.  For me, this is the essence of jazz.
I can only hope, as they say, that “there’s more where this came from.”  PHD Music, 2003; playing time:
62:18, * * * * *.
 
(Review by Grammy Winner-Trumpeter Brian Lynch):
There is some music that brings you right in; the kind that from the first note you hear lets you know that you are
going to be in for a most enjoyable and rewarding listening experience. Such is the music on this CD from the
estimable fivesome that has come together here as the Powerhouse Quintet. Their music has that quality of
making you want to put aside whatever else you’re doing and dig their hip sounds.
      The smooth blend of this group speaks of the long and warm relationship of the principal figures in the
quintet. Bryant, Steve, and Bim are all wonderful players and composers alike, and their musical contributions in
both spheres are both accomplished and complementary to each other, in a way that shows the special quality of
their personal and musical relationships. I’m a firm believer in the idea that friendship off the stand translates into
togetherness on the stand (or recording studio in this case), and this CD is proof positive.
      The highlights on this disc are many; Bryant Allard’s fluent and confident playing on his attractive original,“The
Chase”, Bim Strasberg’s stalwart bass playing throughout the recording, along with his skein of well crafted,
swinging tunes (“Incanto”, “Rockermotion”). Steve Feierabend impresses me with his impassioned yet thought-
ful playing as much on this record as he did sight reading my music on a recent gig with my group in San Diego.
Speaking of San Diego, two of the area’s finest and truly world class players fill out the quintet here, pianist Ivar
Antonsen and drummer Tim McMahon. Tim’s strong and supportive playing helps provide the rhythmic glue
that keeps the drive going in this ensemble, and Ivar’s eloquently creative solo statements and rich comping set
off the horns perfectly.
      I invite you to come on in and listen to the supple, swinging sounds contained herein! Sit back, relax, and
enjoy the Powerhouse Quintet.
Brian Lynch – May 2003
(Grammy winner Brian Lynch was a member of the legendary Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers, recording three albums
with the Messengers and staying with Art until his death in 1990. He was instrumental in the formation of the
acclaimed Eddie Palmieri Afro-Caribbean Jazz Octet and has recently recorded with The Phil Woods Quintet,
The Toshiko Akiyoshi Orchestra, and the Artist formerly known as Prince. Brian’s most recent sixth solo CD,
“Spheres of Influence” made it to the top of the jazz radio charts. Brian recently  won a Grammy for his work with The Brian Lynch/Eddie Palmieri Project January 2007).