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Matt Kane: The Other Side of the Story

Don Phipps By

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Composer and drummer Matt Kane can write tunes. The Other Side of the Story is loaded with head-nodding musical episodes and pastoral, day-dream ballads. The compositions (all written by Kane) have a Joe Zawinul / Wayne Shorter feel to them, but Kane's own masterful voice is clearly evident in the music.

Kane's bandmates contribute mightily to the success of the album. With the lighting speed of an Usain Bolt, Peter Schlamb's chromatic vibraphone solos feature pirouettes and daredevil mallet strikes (is he the second coming of Bobby Hutcherson?). Klaus Mueller's piano is equally chromatic and at times modal (think Herbie Hancock). Vic Juris's guitar playing is expressive, dynamic, and romantic—sometimes at the same time! And while bassist Mark Peterson and Kane back the soloists up with solid rhythm, Kane's propulsive drumming drives the music forward. Best of all, Kane from time to time generates his own statements, with snare drum whips in march-like fashion and asynchronous beats on the bass drum and hi-hat cymbal.

Kane's arrangements typically call for Schlamb and Juris to state the theme in unison before the keyboards and rhythm section enter. Songs like "Eureka Springs" and "Infinite Six," have an energetic "tooling down the freeway" happiness, while "Viewpoints" and "Distance" have a rustic feel. You can almost see green rolling hills and streams and creek beds of crystal-clear water weaving through them. "Distance" features Juris's expressive acoustic guitar in a dreamy romantic setting. Kane even closes the album with his own solo guitar offering on the Ralph Towner-like "Vistas."

Kane explores other moods too Take the funk on "Jump Rope Dance, "Start of the Change" (with Schlamb's dazzling turn), or "Hannibalian," a number that features Mueller on both organ and piano. And the rock beat of "Drive" gives Kane the chance to strut his all-over controlled drumming, beginning with a single rhythmic tap and building slowly to a full-bodied exertion.

"Ozark Flight" has a summery feel, like leaping off a rock ledge and paragliding over Table Rock Lake, while "Ascent" features some great guitar licks by Juris over Mueller's extended phrases and Kane's emphatic drumming. Schlamb again does his wizardry and Peterson twangs the electric bass.

The Other Side of the Story represents a set of fusion-bop songs and pastoral ballads that will take you on a ride. Think adventure, beauty, soaring, and romance. That's the "other" side of the story, and Matt Kane tells these stories well.

Track Listing: Eureka Springs; Viewpoints; Infinite Six; Hannibalian; Drive; The Distance; Jump Rope Dance; Ozark Flight; Ascent; Start of the Change: Vistas.

Personnel: Matt Kane: drums, guitar; Vic Juris: acoustic and electric guitar; Peter Schlamb: vibraphone and electro vibes; Klaus Mueller: piano and fender rhodes; Mark Peterson: acoustic and electric bass.

Title: The Other Side of the Story | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Self Produced

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