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Joe Morris/Mat Maneri: Soul Search

AAJ Staff By

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Soul Search marks the first duo collaboration from Boston's guitar wizard Joe Morris and power violinist Mat Maneri, who previously played together on Morris's quartet recordings (eg. 1998's A Cloud of Black Birds). Morris and Maneri, both idiosyncratic stylists with their own signature sound, clearly belong together.

Joe Morris—without a doubt the most innovative guitarist to enter the arena of free jazz in the last ten years—relies largely on leaping single-note melodic lines and tight clusters. Morris's technical mastery of his instrument is frightening: the sheer density of notes he spews forth (and not in scalar form a la John McLaughlin) leaves other players in the dust.

Mat Maneri's musical fluency on the violin is also without parallel, though his signature sound encompasses a wider range of tonal territory. Maneri's inclusion of more chordal material helps fill in the harmonic space left open by Morris; and his bowing, plucking, and scratching attack provides tonal color to complement Morris's black-and-white lines.

On Soul Search, the stated intent is to break new ground and strive for sympathetic musical vibrations. In this regard, the CD is a total success. For listeners unaccustomed to the density and intensity of this duo, Soul Search may be overwhelming. But for those willing to take the leap, the recording is a stunningly impressive voyage through sound.


Track Listing: Slight Of Hand; Adhesive; Eyes Or Gaze; Natural Number; Versicolor; Soul Search; Flyer; Micron; Forwards And Sideways; Pluralize.

Personnel: Joe Morris: electric guitar; Mat Maneri: electric violin.

Title: Soul Search | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: AUM Fidelity


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