Tuesday, July 7, 2009

THIS ALBUM WILL MAKE YOU DANCE


Matt, today I had a chance to listen to your new album “That’s Gonna Leave A Mark”. After I listened to it, I felt compelled to play my favorite Eric Dolphy albums “Far Cry with Booker Little” (New Jazz 1960) and “Out to Lunch” (Blue Note
1964). Your album reminded me of those classics.

Your quartet matched the level of musicianship Dolphy and his band-mates achieved. I honestly wondered if Dolphy’s spirit was present during the making of “That’s Gonna Leave A Mark”. On “Shooshabuster” and “Rear Control” alto saxophonists and bass clarinetist Andrew D’ Angelo has the heavy tone like Dolphy Your band also cleared up the any doubt I had about a band ability to swing convincingly with a piano player.

For years, Matt, I’ve believed any band or ensemble needed a piano player. The band couldn’t survive without a pianist in the mix. My attitude changed slightly when I heard drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts’ latest album “Watts”. Watts excluded the piano, and the album still swung from top to bottom.

I was so preoccupied dancing to your album I didn’t notice the piano was missing. I noticed after I listened to your album four times. Now I’m convinced a piano-free group can swing. “That’s Gonna Leave A Mark” could be loosely classified as a free jazz album. Your original “Getting Friendly” was the first free jazz love song I’ve heard since I started listening to jazz.

“Area Man”, another of your original, was also the first free jazz composition that had me dancing Of the 11 compositions on this album; “Area Man” was the one I kept rewinding. Matt, truthfully I have to be in a certain frame of mind to listen to most free jazz. I cannot listen to it everyday like some of my friends can, but I could listen to “That’s Gonna Leave A Mark” daily.

You made a free jazz album that’s digestible. It did not come off like a four musicians in the studio making a bunch of noise, or playing the first things that pop up in their heads. Every inch of the music was thought-out and flawlessly executed.

You have a kindred connection with your employees saxophonist Jeff Lederer, bassist Chris Lightcap, alto saxophonist and Andrew D’ Angelo. Although you are the leader, you encouraged their participation. Each musician contributed a composition. “That’s Gonna Leave a Mark” is a fitting title, because it'll be impossible to rub this album off my ears.
Post a Comment