Matt Renzi: Lunch Special (2009)
This Brooklyn, NY-based progressive jazz trio brings memorable compositional frameworks and intriguing improvisational endeavors to the proverbial table. Saxophonist Matt Renzi is a well-schooled musician who possesses a fertile imagination. The evidence lies within the buoyant works that are partly devised upon subtle tension and release statements and pulsating flows, abetted by his trio's democratic mode of operation. Renzi's angular phrasings slash a path through lyrically rich theme-building maneuvers amid a few tender moments and shrewdly placed dynamics.
The musicians enjoy a close working relationship, noted by knotty unison choruses and mood eliciting motifs that are often stretched into expansive improvisation-centric platforms. Marked by yearning themes and intermittent treks into the free-zone, each player acts as a vital cog in the wheel.
On "Chicken Soup Dance (Intro)," Renzi's popping quarter-notes segue the group into "Chicken Soup Dance," an upbeat ballad executed over a soft and spacious rock pulse. Here and throughout, the trio lets the music breath and flourish. And in various regions of sound, they merge endearing sentiment with edgy and forceful breakouts.
The saxophonist dishes out the "Lunch Special" via his good-natured and whirling clarinet lines. It's a happy theme that perhaps correlates to a bit of relief on the work front. This Lunch Special packs a lot of meat, although Renzi augments the menu with dessert on occasion. Either way, he offers well-balanced portions of music that should satisfy insatiable appetites for persuasively enacted modern jazz.
Track Listing: Track Listing: Circolazione; Happy Hour; Chopping Mall; Pula Paradise; Nothing Could Be; School's Out (intro); School's Out; Chicken Soup Dance (intro); Chicken Soup Dance; Lunch Special.
Personnel: Matt Renzi: tenor sax, clarinet; Dave Ambrosio: bass; Russ Meissner: drums.