Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

278

Matthias Lupri Group: Metalix

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
While Same Time Twice (Summit, 2002) found vibraphonist Matthias Lupri emerging as a noteworthy contemporary jazz composer, Transition Sonic (Summit, 2004) represented a significant compositional leap. Lupri fashioned a suite of pieces that, while generally unrelated thematically, ultimately created a longer, more complex narrative whose whole was greater than the sum of its parts. With Metalix Lupri continues honing that process.

This album bears some comparison to Pat Metheny Group's The Way Up (Nonesuch, 2005). Not to say that the two records are stylistically the same—they're not. Nor, to be honest, is Lupri as advanced a writer, possessing the same level of orchestral skill as Metheny and his long-time partner, Lyle Mays. The Way Up centers on some specific motifs that pop up in various ways throughout its 68-minute duration. The sixteen pieces on Metalix, while sonically linked, are more discrete. Still, the four idiosyncratic "Matalix tracks are loosely related and the upbeat "Wondering & Wandering makes an appearance at both ends, giving the recording a distinct arc and sense of emotional completeness.

Like Metheny and Mays, Lupri often favours irregular meters and shifting bar lines, even as he couches them in melodies so engaging that any complexities are only noticeable on deeper analysis. Metheny Group records, while never short on captivating solos, weigh more heavily on the compositional side of the equation. Lupri, on the other hand, makes great use of the orchestral possibilities of his sextet but clearly favours the improvisational side.

On Metalix Lupri features two rising stars of the New York scene—saxophonists Myron Walden and Donny McCaslin—along with three lesser-known players who have worked with Lupri over the past few years—guitarist Nate Radley, bassist Thomas Kneeland and drummer Jordan Person. Everyone solos with total conviction, and while Radley leans perhaps a tad heavily on an approach that resembles Metheny filtered through Kurt Rosenwinkel, his playing has grown considerably since Transition Sonic and continues to demonstrate real promise.

Lupri, too, continues to grow as an improviser. He blends innate lyricism with a remarkable textural sensibility. He cites Gary Burton as a strong influence, and it's no surprise that his approach also shares some common ground with Metheny, who first cut his teeth in Burton's group in the 1970s. "Glass Stairs, with its cymbal-driven pulse, could easily fit within Burton's ECM ouevre. But Lupri also incorporates electronics into his palette, even more so than on Transition Sonic, and so while the roots of Metalix are clear, so too are its contemporary innovations.

At times powerful, at times delicate, this recording also finds Lupri exploring freer territory. For example, he segues the abstract "Ghost Clusters into the plaintive bass clarinet solo of "Lonely Interlude, and ultimately the dark and blues-informed "Flowers for Mary Jane." Lupri is growing as an artist with a capacity to develop long-form concepts and improvise passionately and intelligently. He continues to learn and grow with each album, and Metalix is unequivocally his most evolved and compelling effort to date.

Visit Matthias Lupri on the web.


Track Listing: Metalix IV Prelude; Wondering & Wandering; (another) Lost Creek; Still; (Still) Lingering; Glass Stairs; Metalix; Metalix Abstract; Dream Nocturne; Ghost Clusters; Lonely Interlude; Flowers for Mary Jane; TD Vibe Intro; Time Design; Wondering & Wandering Reprise; Metalix Deja Vu.

Personnel: Matthias Lupri: vibraphone, electronics; Myron Walden: alto and soprano saxophones, bass clarinet; Donny McCaslin: tenor and soprano saxophones, alto flute; Nate Radley: guitar, electronics; Thomas Kneeland: acoustic bass, electronics; Jordan Person: drums, percussion.

Title: Metalix | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Summit Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Warning: include(/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php): failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

Warning: include(): Failed opening '/data/websites/jazznearyou.com/www/html/templates/calendar/cal_related_cached.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/lib/php5:/data/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html:/usr/share/php') in /home/websites/allaboutjazz.com/www/html/content/article.php on line 68

More Articles

Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Vertical CD/LP/Track Review Vertical
by Don Phipps
Published: January 16, 2018
Read In Stride CD/LP/Track Review In Stride
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 16, 2018
Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "Lyn Stanley – The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 2" CD/LP/Track Review Lyn Stanley – The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 2
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 12, 2017
Read "Astoria Roots Live" CD/LP/Track Review Astoria Roots Live
by James Nadal
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow" CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 3, 2017
Read "Far from Over" CD/LP/Track Review Far from Over
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: September 8, 2017
Read "No Secrets No Lies" CD/LP/Track Review No Secrets No Lies
by Geannine Reid
Published: July 22, 2017
Read "Begin to Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Begin to Dance
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 19, 2017