All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

242

Matt Slocum: Portraits

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Matt Slocum's multicolored traps—at times forceful or delicate, creatively painting varied tempos with the essence of swing—define the drummer's debut, Portraits. Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota, Slocum's introduction carries forward the torch of patriarchs Max Roach and Elvin Jones amongst others, but he also carves out his own rhythmic patterns with young contemporaries such as Eric Harland and Johnathan Blake.

Slocum is joined by equally distinguished peers: award-winning pianist Gerald Clayton, whose own debut, Two-Shade (ArtistShare, 2009), was well received; and resolute bassist Massimo Biolcati, a longtime associate of guitarist Lionel Loueke. Portraits is mostly a trio outing, with special guest saxophonists Walter Smith III, Jaleel Shaw and Dayna Stephens, all noteworthy young voices, appearing on a couple of tracks.

Slocum presses forward with scintillating new material that has emotion and drive, unveiling nuanced charts like the stylish "Cambria," whose melody is suffused with a swinging glow. The trio's communication is palpable—each player's effervescence supporting and lifting each other and the music to higher grounds. But fertile soil is also tilled to great effect on the cover of Duke Ellington's "Daydream," where Smith plays with a deep tone, like an old soul from times past, and where Slocum's cymbal and mallet touches are simply haunting.

"Seven Stars" shifts with ease between heated modality and cool, marked by ubiquitous drums, torrential horns salvos and complexity touching sweet melodism to create one of the recording's best pieces. The remainder of the set follows form, including "Illusions and Delusions," featuring Stephens' tenor providing warmth, and "Avenida del Paraiso," with Biolcati's quaking bass and Slocum's spidery traps creating an intricate web for Clayton to navigate.

Present day jazz is clearly not stagnate in the very good hands (and sticks) of Matt Slocum—a young drummer who plays with empathy and verve.


Track Listing: Homage; Cambria; Daydream; Shadows; For Alin; Seven Stars; Portraits; Illusions and Delusions; Avenida del Paraiso.

Personnel: Gerald Clayton: piano; Massimo Biolcati: bass; Matt Slocum: drums; Walter Smith III: tenor saxophone; Jaleel Shaw: alto saxophone; Dayna Stephens: tenor saxophone.

Title: Portraits | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Chandra Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Ghost Dance

Ghost Dance

Matt Slocum
Black Elk's Dream

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Trio Pacific, vol. 1

Trio Pacific, vol. 1

Chandra Records
2017

buy
Trio Pacific, Vol. 1

Trio Pacific, Vol. 1

Chandra Records
2016

buy
Black Elk's Dream

Black Elk's Dream

Chandra Records
2014

buy
Portraits

Portraits

Chandra Records
2010

buy

Related Articles

Read Alive In The East? CD/LP/Track Review
Alive In The East?
by Chris May
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Love Stone CD/LP/Track Review
Love Stone
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Empty Castles CD/LP/Track Review
Empty Castles
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Myths and Morals CD/LP/Track Review
Myths and Morals
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 22, 2018
Read The Sum Of My Pardon CD/LP/Track Review
The Sum Of My Pardon
by Jim Olin
Published: June 22, 2018
Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read "Cycles of Animation" CD/LP/Track Review Cycles of Animation
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 11, 2017
Read "Throw Tomatoes" CD/LP/Track Review Throw Tomatoes
by Mark Corroto
Published: April 26, 2018
Read "Back to the Sunset" CD/LP/Track Review Back to the Sunset
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 6, 2018
Read "Flaneur" CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "The 1960 Sessions with George Duvivier and Max Roach" CD/LP/Track Review The 1960 Sessions with George Duvivier and Max Roach
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: November 1, 2017
Read "Antidote" CD/LP/Track Review Antidote
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 29, 2017