All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Multiple Reviews

428

Matt Lavelle: Spiritual Power and War Rug

By

Sign in to view read count








Matt Lavelle Trio
Spiritual Power
Silkheart
2007


Eye Contact
War Rug
KMB Records
2007


Jazz trios led by a horn other than a saxophone are something of a rarity and while Matt Lavelle is known primarily as a trumpet player (William Parker's Little Huey Orchestra), on Spiritual Power he mostly divides the bulk of his time evenly between the mellower flugelhorn and bass clarinet. This band's natural antecedent is Roy Campbell's Pyramid Trio, another non-sax group where the leader riffs over a propulsive bass-and-drum rhythm section. Here, it's bassist Hilliard Greene (an expert in forward motion from his days with Charles Gayle) who plays the pivot, authoritative with his fingers on the title cut, mournful with the bow in unison with Lavelle's darkly tinted bass clarinet on "End Times and crisply on the leading edge of the rhythm as he mimics the vocalized meter of "S?- Se Puede . Drummer Michael TA Thompson is Greene's perfect partner, articulating each note and accenting every beat. Lavelle's tunes have an organic rightness about them, an economy of language that wastes nothing and brings each performance to a satisfying resolution, the end result of an open-hearted and inspired recording session.

Eye Contact is a trio shrouded in mystery. The musicians appear on the back of the CD in ghostly photo-booth strips. On the inside is a dimly lit picture of the band onstage and one of them seems to be leaping into the audience. Their names don't appear anywhere in the package. War Rug draws its energy from this elusiveness, telling wordless trickster stories (instruments echo, shape shift and doppelgang) and emulating shamanic rituals (drones, shakers and distant hand drumming) in improvised compositions that claim no overdubs but overflow with atmospherics. Lavelle spends a lot of time on the bass clarinet and tends to handle it like he would his trumpet, trilling fast runs on "Rhinecliff Hotel that favor the upper end of the big horn's range. Elsewhere, drummer Ryan Sawyer (Tall Firs, Stars Like Fleas) and roaring bassist Matt Heyner (Test, Malkuth) demonstrate hardcore punk tendencies, as if Roy Campbell were fronting the Minutemen.


Tracks and Personnel

Spiritual Power

Tracks: Spiritual Power; Stars Like Fleas; Si Se Puede; End Times; I Will Have a Love in My Life; Hey Liduva; Seth Speaks.

Personnel: Matt Lavelle: trumpet, flugelhorn, bass clarinet; Hilliard Greene: bass; Michael T.A. Thompson: drums and percussion.

War Rug

Tracks: Slave Grave; Back in New York; Like I Trust Your Friends; Make Me Have a Baby; The Forest Lord; Rhinecliff Hotel; An Actor on TV; War Rug; The Chill and Then the Stupor; Blackwood.

Personnel: Matt Lavelle: trumpet, bass clarinet, cuica; Matt Heyner: bass; Ryan Sawyer: drums and percussion.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

CD/LP/Track Review
What is Jazz?
CD/LP/Track Review
Book Reviews
Read more articles
Solidarity

Solidarity

Unseen Rain Records
2016

buy
Harmolodic Monk

Harmolodic Monk

Unseen Rain Records
2015

buy
Harmolodic Monk

Harmolodic Monk

Unseen Rain Records
2014

buy

Related Articles

Read Lee Michaels: Dinosaurs Still Rule! Multiple Reviews
Lee Michaels: Dinosaurs Still Rule!
by Doug Collette
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Seth Yacovone Band and Radio Underground: Rockin' the Green Mountains Multiple Reviews
Seth Yacovone Band and Radio Underground: Rockin' the...
by Doug Collette
Published: November 17, 2018
Read Jazz is Mod: An Introduction to the Mod Jazz Series Multiple Reviews
Jazz is Mod: An Introduction to the Mod Jazz Series
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Scott Sharrard & Jack Pearson: Brothers by Proxy Multiple Reviews
Scott Sharrard & Jack Pearson: Brothers by Proxy
by Doug Collette
Published: November 3, 2018
Read All Over the Map with Losen Records Multiple Reviews
All Over the Map with Losen Records
by Geno Thackara
Published: November 2, 2018
Read John Lennon's Imagine: The Ultimate Collection & Imagine/Gimme Some Truth Films Multiple Reviews
John Lennon's Imagine: The Ultimate Collection &...
by John Kelman
Published: October 28, 2018
Read "Piano Trios: 3x3" Multiple Reviews Piano Trios: 3x3
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "The Art of the Duo: Keys and Reeds" Multiple Reviews The Art of the Duo: Keys and Reeds
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 11, 2018
Read "Lee Michaels: Dinosaurs Still Rule!" Multiple Reviews Lee Michaels: Dinosaurs Still Rule!
by Doug Collette
Published: November 17, 2018
Read "Iain Matthews: Redefining Eclectic" Multiple Reviews Iain Matthews: Redefining Eclectic
by Doug Collette
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "Joao Barradas: A New Place For The Accordion In Jazz?" Multiple Reviews Joao Barradas: A New Place For The Accordion In Jazz?
by Chris Mosey
Published: February 2, 2018
Read "A Six-String Travelogue" Multiple Reviews A Six-String Travelogue
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 18, 2018