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Album Review

Matt Renzi: Arm-Sized Legging

Read "Arm-Sized Legging" reviewed by Jack Bowers


Arm-Sized Legging, saxophonist Matt Renzi's sixth album as leader, features his Cello Quartet, basically a piano-less jazz trio with cello added, for what purpose it is hard to ascertain. Cellos aren't normally associated with jazz—as some would argue, for good reason—and this session does little to further their cause. Yes, the cello does add another “voice," but whether that voice is gratifying or even necessary rests in large measure in the ears of the hearkener. Clearly, it is not a ...

4
Album Review

Matt Renzi: Rise And Shine

Read "Rise And Shine" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky


Continuity and freshness, while theoretically at odds with one another, are the two things that tend to fuel group development in the arts. Only time can create bonds of trust and help to crystallize concepts and language shared between artists, but consistency can breed predictability. So how can an artist balance the scales, allowing their work to benefit from both? The answer--or secret--lies in multi-reedist Matt Renzi's Rise And Shine. For his eighth album as a leader, ...

131
Album Review

Matt Renzi: Happy Hour

Read "Happy Hour" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan


Reedman Matt Renzi's Happy Hour is curiously titled, given the music at hand. A “Happy Hour" brings cheap drinks and cacophonous good times in the bar room to mind. The CD of that name opens with a tranquil reverie, as mystical, inward-looking and spiritually directed as a late-period Impulse! John Coltrane rumination. The trio format is Renzi's primary form of expression. He and bassist Dave Ambrosio, along with drummer Russ Meissner, have performed together as a group since ...

258
Album Review

Matt Renzi: Lunch Special

Read "Lunch Special" reviewed by Blaine Fallis


Lunch Special should win a marketing award for having the freshest CD design concept, although the actual photo of linguine with oysters used as the CD imprint may not be as fresh as the music itself. At least the designer was nice enough to reveal a relatively clean plate inside the tray card once the CD is removed. However, a long and winding piece of linguine is not a bad way to describe a typical sax line from Matt Renzi, ...

231
Album Review

Matt Renzi: Lunch Special

Read "Lunch Special" reviewed by Glenn Astarita


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. ...


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