Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

6

Matt Criscuolo: Blippity Blat

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Matt Criscuolo is a restaurateur in Connecticut, but also a veteran alto saxophonist and not just a hobbyist with spare finances to record albums. With his fourth outing as a leader, he once again aligns some of the finest jazz artisans such as, pianist Larry Willis and French horn maestro, John Clark. Criscuolo possess a unique tone that often resonates with an inherent stereo sound, bridging a touch of lower register warmth with the alto sax's altissimo register. He combines a forceful and fluent line of attack. Moreover, the studio processing of this session sparks remembrances of '70s style jazz recordings, most notably the now defunct CTI Records label, where dabs of echo and reverb cast a full-bodied soundstage, while also accentuating depth.

Criscuolo gels on several medium-tempo works largely comprised of originals. He's a climactically oriented storyteller and elevates the pitch to emit a sense of the dynamic. On "Generally Not," the band renders a pumping vibe, tinted with sweet overtones, and fuses bop and swing into a harmonious arrangement during "The Rock." His pieces contain memorable hooks and finger-snapping grooves. And on "The Larry Willis I Know," drummer Billy Williams' melodic toms rolls help craft an exotic ballad, sculptured by Criscuolo's warm, but deterministic lines. Nonetheless, it's a democratic agenda where all band members receive plentiful opportunities to stretch and improvise.

The ensemble closes the proceedings with an afterhours aura on George Gershwin's "My Ship," where Criscuolo's breathy voicings, searching phraseology and extended notes are accented and paced by Willis' melodic comping. Overall, Blippity Blat is an upbeat and altogether engaging set, wondrously recorded and showcasing the band's synchronous interplay amid a host of luminously enacted soloing spots.

Track Listing: Shuckin’ The Cob; Blippity Blat; Somethin’ Like That; Generally Not; Inventiscovered; Ronnie’s Tune; The Rock; Dance Cadaverous; The Larry Willis I Know; My Ship.

Personnel: Larry Willis: piano; John Clark: French Horn; Billy Williams: drums; Gerald Cannon: bass; Matt Criscuolo: saxophone

Title: Blippity Blat | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Headin’ Out

Headin’ Out

Jazzeria
2015

buy
Blippity Blat

Blippity Blat

Self Produced
2014

buy
Lotus Blossom

Lotus Blossom

M Records
2005

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Friendly Signs Album Reviews
Friendly Signs
By Don Phipps
February 22, 2019
Read The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes Album Reviews
The Adventures of Mr Pottercakes
By Roger Farbey
February 22, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Glenn Astarita
February 22, 2019
Read The Largo And The Lame Album Reviews
The Largo And The Lame
By Mark Corroto
February 22, 2019
Read Sun Of Goldfinger Album Reviews
Sun Of Goldfinger
By Dan McClenaghan
February 22, 2019
Read Paint The Sky Album Reviews
Paint The Sky
By Andrew J. Sammut
February 21, 2019
Read God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be Album Reviews
God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
By Karl Ackermann
February 21, 2019