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Matt Anderson Quartet: The Town and the City

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Matt Anderson Quartet: The Town and the City
Saxophonist Matt Anderson grew up on the North Yorkshire Moors, in the north of England, and is now based in London where he teaches junior jazz ensembles at the Royal Academy of Music. The Town and the City is his third album—the title a nod to his years in the small towns and villages of the Moors, and his later move to the capital— and the second to feature his quartet of pianist Alberto Palau, bassist Will Harris and drummer Jay Davis. Recorded in one day in May 2021, with no overdubs and minimal editing, the album successfully achieves Anderson's aim of creating a work that focuses on the band's musicianship and the strength of the compositions, while a real sense of spontaneity and enjoyment pervades the recording.

Anderson composed four of these tracks, Palau contributed "Northern Journey," a gentle, reflective tune featuring Anderson on soprano sax, and "Albatross" comes from singer & songwriter Jamie Doe, who has worked with Anderson and Harris in the past. "Swagger" is aptly titled, opening with real confidence thanks to Palau and Davis' piano and drum attack. "Ode to Europe" is a calmer number, a flowing composition which highlights Anderson's tenor playing. "The Conversation" conjures images not of a respectful exchange but of a bustling, many-sided chat where each person (or instrument) dives in and out of the interactions, desperate to establish their own point of view; the tenor sax gets the lion's share of this particular conversation, but all the players make telling contributions.

"Albatross" is the album's prettiest track. Anderson's tenor saxophone tone is rich and warm, the rhythm playing is restrained and considered and the result draws out the folk-tinged beauty of Doe's original (recorded under the name The Magic Lantern); the band ends the track with some wordless vocalising of no little charm. "The Idiot," named after the Dostoevsky novel, ends proceedings, with each band member taking a solo in turn and establishing their credentials as talented individual players.

Track Listing

Swagger; Ode to Europe; Northern Journey; The Conversation; Albatross; The Idiot.

Personnel

Matt Anderson
saxophone, tenor
Jay Davis
drums

Album information

Title: The Town and the City | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Hidden Threads Records


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