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Jordi Matas Organic Trio: Landscape

Mark F. Turner By

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Unfettered by tradition and the usual jazz influences, Jordi Matas is an exceptional guitarist in Barcelona Spain, distinguished by his unique voice and always interestingly written material. His third release, Landscape, is a live recording featuring the organ-based Organic Trio and it's his most memorable recording to date.

Joined by Albert Sanz on Hammond B3 and David Xirgu on drums, Landscape captures a special performance of three musicians in tune to their surrounding (at the Jamboree Club in Barcelona, 2007) and with each other, creating an environment that was electric, spontaneous and open. There are a few similarities to typical jazz organ recordings but for all intents and purposes, Matas compositions are at once original and contemporary.

Identified by Matas' use of texture and mood-filled melodism, the set begins with the cathedral church sounds of Sanz's organ on the title selection "Landscape. It develops into a mid-tempo groove where Matas delivers a satisfying guitar-synth-effect solo and the other trio-mates contributing their own spirited solos. The combination and free-play of each musician and their instruments is mesmeric and liken to an aural picture of an impressionist painting.

Mata's is an artist with great "touch, playing notes and chords lightly on "Seguint la pista a la vida or using colorful yet subtle electronics on "Malson a la cova where Sanz's stellar playing literally pushes the celestial tune to the stars. Sanz's B3 paints with a variety of timbres, sometimes softly, grainy, other times forcefully. The same spectrum is found in Xirgu's drumming from whispery brushwork to heated multi-directional traps. Always adding color to the music.

An insight into the complexities of Matas thinking is found within the dark lines of "Núvol or the rural simplicity in "Racó, a poignant tune from his 2006 recording Racons (Fresh Sound New Talent); that would take the listener on a journey. The trio burns down the house on "Time's up —a monster tune that traverses soundscapes (funk, rock, and free music) with some dynamic drum work by Xirgu—to the crowd's enthusiastic applause.

The closing track "Belleza oculta may effectively sum up Landscape's persona: one that is distinct and modernly cool, yet with warmth and an infectious presence. One of the highlight releases of 2007.

Track Listing: Landscape; G

Personnel: Jordi Matas: guitar; Albert Sanz: Hammond B3 organ; David Xirgu: drums.

Title: Landscape | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Fresh Sound New Talent


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