Amazon.com Widgets

Matt Garrison - Saxophone: Blood Songs (2012)

By Published: | 3,131 views
Matt Garrison - Saxophone: Blood Songs How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

Presenting a primarily original repertoire of sparkling modern jazz, New York saxophonist Matt Garrison follows up his critically acclaimed debut, Familiar Places (DCLEF, 2011), with Blood Songs, an audacious musical tribute to his loving parents. With the exception of producer/trombonist Michael Dease
Michael Dease
Michael Dease
b.1982
trombone
, Garrison assembles a new all-star list of players, including veterans like saxophonist Eric Alexander
Eric Alexander
Eric Alexander
b.1968
sax, tenor
and trumpeter Greg Gisbert, who mix it up well with young, up-and-coming stars including pianist Roy Assaf
Roy Assaf
Roy Assaf
b.1982
piano
and drummer Ulysses Owens Jr., Jr.

The opening "The Madness Within" offers a spicy taste of what's in store; though brief, it features a hot soprano solo from Garrison, with Dease and guitarist Dave Kain
Dave Kain
Dave Kain
b.1976
guitar
adding to the excitement. Garrison's tenor voice comes out loud and clear on "Trajectory," in an expansive solo highlight, before Gisbert weighs in with some of his own blistering shouts. In obvious reference to his mother, the upbeat, melody-rich "Mom's Song" features Garrison on baritone—the first calypso he's ever written.

The fires burn brightly on Gisbert's "Modern Man," showcasing hard-driving steamy solos from Garrison, Dease and, of course, the heated trumpeter. Dease contributes the beautiful bossa nova-styled "Force," one of the session's most outstanding pieces, featuring more bright spots from the trombonist and the leader, as well as warm lines from guitarist Andrew Swift
Andrew Swift
Andrew Swift

drums
(his only appearance). The blistering "Interrupted" is the album's centerpiece, with Garrison and Alexander—both on tenor and on fire—delivering memorable solos and trading salvos like two old galleon warships trying to blow each other out of the water.

Composer/lyricist Harry Warren's "The More I See You" sounds quite different from the original, with Garrison's lovely rendition borrowing from saxophonist Hank Mobley
Hank Mobley
Hank Mobley
1930 - 1986
sax, tenor
's take on this immortal standard. Garrison's closing "Hospital Room Blues" was written while visiting his ailing father in the hospital and is marked by Gisbert's high-pitched trumpet, and Garrison's bluesy display set against a swinging rhythm section, with propulsive posturing from Owens, Jr. and Assaf's deft right-hand accompaniment.

There are times when an artist is able to put together the right combination of musical talent, excellent writing and outstanding performances, and when he does, a successful outing is usually the result. That can definitely be said of Garrison and his impressive Blood Songs, an album where the highlights are many and the outcome is just too good to overlook. Perhaps Garrison should bottle the DNA strands from this set and clone his next project.

Track Listing: The Madness Within; Trajectory; Mom's Song; Modern Man; Force; Interrupted; Parental Units; The More I See You; Hospital Room Blues.

Personnel: Matt Garrison: tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone; Greg Gisbert: trumpet, flugelhorn; Michael Dease: trombone; Roy Assaf: piano; Dezron Douglas: bass; Ulysses Owens Jr.: drums; Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone (6); Dave Kain: guitar (1); Andrew Swift: guitar (5).

Record Label: D Clef Records

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Search
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Bandzoogle: GET STARTED TODAY - FREE TRIAL

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

Article Search