Performing for the most part on the periphery of jazz listener consciousness in the catalytic environment of Boston and its environs, Matthias Lupri has dedicated himself to one of those instruments sometimes insultingly listed as "miscellaneous" in jazz categories. While a few acknowledged masters of the instrument have transcended such categorizationand in the process have challenged assumptions about the nature of jazz itself (I'm thinking Red Norvo and Gary Burton here)the dismissive mindset often prevails.
That's a shame. We have players like Lupri who dedicate their lives to the art and the instrumentand who through a consistent vision create a distinctive sound. On Shadow Of The Vibe, Lupri combines forces with another Bostonian, George Garzone, to remind listeners of the vibraphone's potential for lightly setting a mood or subtly prodding a group to greater dynamism and intensity.
Born in Germany and growing up in the American Midwest and the Canadian West, Lupri's dedication to a life in music led to his enrollment at Berklee to study with Gary Burton. Touring through various jazz festivals mostly in the Northeast and Canada, and opening for the likes of Tony Bennett and Cher, Lupri is taking jazz vibraphone to the masses.
Shadow Of The Vibe documents Lupri's wide-ranging imagination throughout his compositions and solo development. More than that, though, it presents his craft which uses the vibe as an outlet for deeply felt expression. Small details like his control of the sustain pedal on "Mirror" and his different means of attack depending upon a tune's atmosphere and his Burton-like minimization of vibrato reveal a high degree of professionalism. Plus, his selflessness in developing camaraderie and allowing the other three members of the quartet to shine as equals, especially on "Augies Blues," exhibits a confidence and leadership.
George Garzone in particular shines on "Shadow Of The Vibe" and shows flexibility and lyricism that may surprise listeners of his free work in The Fringe. Employing the soprano sax as often as the tenor, Garzone and Lupri share a sense of purpose in developing a tune through intertwining lines.
Matthias Lupri has created a personalized approach to his instrument and his musicone that will be recognized even more widely in the future.
Track Listing: Investion, Mirror, Fast Corners, Shadow Of The Vibe, Intrusion, Moonlamps, Beatrice, Smiles Through You, Augies Blues, New Fall, Mirror
Personnel: Matthias Lupri, vibraphone; George Garzone, saxophone; John Lockwood, bass; Sebastiaan de Krom, drums
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.