Matt Lavelle: Matt Lavelle: Trumpet Rising and Bass Clarinet Moon (2004)
"Lavelleism" is the most straight-ahead song, testifying to Lavelle's grounding in tradition. Yet the song is informed by a free sensibility and the seams shift and sway with a pulsing vibrancy. Part of what makes Lavelle's sound unique is his use of microtones, which gives his tone a resonant depth and funky looseness. "Summer Snow" is a meditative piece that contemplates a snowstorm in New York in August; Lavelle's trumpet is rich and sonorous, lyrical with a barely contained wildness. "Flashback" is a short blues where the first-rate bandAtiba Kwabena on djembe, flute and percussion; Francois Grillot on bass; Anders Nilsson on guitar; and Federico Ughi on drumscooks to the boiling point.
The gem is the 18-minute piece "The Hierophant," Lavelle's exploration of John Coltrane as well as his own spiritual journey. Lavelle plays bass clarinet on the piece and lets loose with urgent cries that hit the listener in the marrow. This is music from the depths, intensely personal with no holds barred. The song illustrates what a strong player Lavelle is, not only in terms of his formidable chops but also his uncompromising honesty. It's a rare combination and part of what makes Lavelle so exciting to hear in person: he holds nothing in reserve for next time, allowing full expression to the music and its imperative. Trumpet Rising Bass Clarinet Moon is an excellent replica of Lavelle live and will surely inspire the listener to experience his gifts in person.
Track Listing: 1. Lavellism; 2. The Hierophant; 3. Summer Snow; 4. Flashback.
Personnel: Matt Lavelle--trumpet, bass-clarinet; Atiba N. Kwabena--djembe, flute, percussion; Francois Grillot--bass; Anders Neilson--guitar; Federico Ughi--drums.
Record Label: 577 Records
Style: Modern Jazz