All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

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...

203

Matt Jorgensen + 451 at Dizzy's

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
A rainstorm rolled into San Diego—the first such in six months—on the night that Seattle's Matt Jorgensen + 451 rolled in on the tail end of a west coast tour, for a concert at Dizzy's. I don't know if Matt and company pulled the precipitation in with them from the wetter climes of their home turf, but they did definitely bring with them their own modern and distinctive take on jazz.
The ride south on the freeway into the big city featured the steady, gentle, percussive rhythm of the raindrops on the car's roof. The parking on Ninth Avenue lay within shouting distance of huddled homeless folks, dealing with the unaccustomed damp. And Dizzy's—a retired warehouse, replete with a roll-up garage door, propped open this night by a wooden box—lurked, quaintly shabby, in the shadow of a spanking new downtown baseball park. Inside the club, brick walls and a buffed concrete floor waited to enliven, with their natural resonance qualities, the music of Matt Jorgensen + 451.
Drummer Jorgensen and his quintet were on the final stop of the tour to promote their latest CD, Hope (Origin Records, '04), and they churned into their set with the CD's opener, "Slinky", to a sparse crowd, a mere handful of listeners. Happily, by the time the set's second number was underway, the place had filled up respectably (fashionable lateness, I suppose), with a surprisingly young crowd for a jazz quintet playing songs by Mingus ("Fables of Faubus"), Coltrane ("India"), and Miles Davis ("Teo"). The appeal to a younger crowd may be the freshness of the group's sound—especially Ryan Burns's glowing and buoyant Fender Rhodes work; an instrument that sounded modern in the sixties when Miles incorporated it, and still sounds that way today. Or maybe it's the sometimes rock flavor of the band; they do a killer version of Coldplay's "God Put a Smile on Your Face", on Hope and in concert. Jorgensen is an inventive drummer, a mix of rock stylings, Elvin Jones, Tony Williams and Chico Hamilton, and his spare but always intriquing percussion accompaniment to Phil Sparks on a couple of the bassist's tasteful and intense solos was always right on mark.
The saxophonists kicked. Mark Taylor was on alto that night, sounding sometimes tart, sometimes Bird-ish, smoldering, flaring up, burning long clean lines; while Matt Otto—Jorgensen's old running mate from the drummer's New York days—blew with a big round tone. He and Taylor opened up "Che"—an Otto-penned tune—with two horn harmony, sounding especially robust with their sound bouncing off the warehouse walls. The group here reminded me of sixties Coltrane groove, in the Coltrane album mode, with Jorgensen churning out a rain-on-the-roof snare work, his cymbal sound like water splashing from the rain gutters.

A marvelous, alive concert, by a group that's steering jazz sounds onto a new and modern tangent. The highlights were two songs I hadn't heard before, from a previous CD. "Quiet Silence", that walked a spiritual abstract/mainstream line; and Jorgensen's high energy "For Tony", a Tony Williams tribute, that had the leader in that rolling thunder, wall of percussive sound mode, punctuated with intermittent explosions.

Visit Matt Jorgensen at www.mj451.com .

Related Article
Seattle's New Sound

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe Live Reviews
Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe
by Chris May
Published: September 15, 2018
Read 12 Points 2018 Live Reviews
12 Points 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar" Live Reviews Andy Hague Quintet at The Bronx Bar
by Barry Witherden
Published: June 10, 2018
Read "Jazz Jantar 2017" Live Reviews Jazz Jantar 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: December 21, 2017