Matt Garrison -][- BLOOD SONG’S – [D CLef Records, 2012 | Review] –
There are times we must simply immerse our mind, body and soul into a pool of ingenuous, fertile and uncommonly blissful sounds. You see, that’s exactly what’s been accomplished with “BLOOD SONG’S” the latest project by multitalented woodwind artist, composer and educator Matt Garrison.
“Blood Songs” is a decisive collage of nine post-modern jazz compositions. On his sophomore outing, Garrison pen six originals and adopted three songs by guests composers. These gems are empowered by a dynamic roaster of momentous artists that deploy their symmetrical voices on this vivid collection of songs produced by trombonist Michael Dease.
The opening piece “The Madness Within” doesn’t sound or feel anything like the title suggests. No doubt, this is an incredibly good song. Even still, the aura of this piece is quite appealing and doesn’t feel burdensome sonically. The depth of Garrison’s expansive voice on soprano releases a spool of warm melodies, shifting lyricism and sudden vibrancy summons the quintet to freely express their shared voicing’s on this harmonically tight and smooth landscape of inviting music.
The infectious bop-like “Trajectory” encompasses the timeless hooks we’ve heard countless times before. Garrison and the crew absolutely grooves with unrestrained dexterity. “Mom’s Song” is a feel good piece that bounces lightly by absorbing an island-like flavor and gels systematically with the cool resonance of jazz.
“Modern Man” authored by trumpeter Greg Gisbert burns with cohesive and uplifting interplay challenging the ensemble to remain focused as journeymen they tirelessly breathe their inventive spirit into the body this piece.
Producer and trombonist Michael Dease pen the tempting Bossa nova vibe on “Force” at the fifth position. Melodically, this jewel stirs the emotion and intimacy of Garrison’s lucrative timbre and Dease on trombone combine to equally share this space generously the other players intercede to widen the scope further on this growing canvas.
The effervescent ambience of “Interrupted” swings with unmatched precision. As gate keepers, the quintet raises the bar once again as seasoned veterans to unleash their relentless voices with cunning finesse, unity and detailed interpretation of this song is why it manifests brilliantly.
“Blood Songs” compositionally reveals Garrison’s ongoing pursuit to play not just with technical prowess but meaningful and satisfying music. With “Parental Units” his passion clearly reflects the spirit of his soul fertilized by the seeds of diversity his lyrically charged compositions are formed by a variety of influences to shape his sound.
With “Blood Songs,” he skillfully crafted this wonderful template and dedicated it to his loving and supportive parents. His vision is realized even more so with an influx of bright and lightly shaded tones on “The More I See You” composed by Harry Warren and Mack Gordon. All the same, the quintet jointly sustains their sound with spirited humility on “Hospital Room Blues.” In the meantime, the ensemble arm and arm surges relentlessly with superior interplay to further establish their imaginative, colorful and exceptional velocity in unison is absolutely a great way to conclude this project.
If your taste for jazz is at the core of your palette, then I’m sure “Blood Songs” will indelibly surpass, qualify and undoubtedly meet your expectations as an essential jazz recording to add to your growing music library. With this project, the multifaceted Matt Garrison has undeniably perfected the art of composing, playing and arranging jazz.
Recommended by Rob Young | Urban Flux Media | Review
Meet the Band:
Matt Garrison – tenor, baritone and soprano saxophones
Greg Gisbert – trumpet and flugelhorn
Roy Assaf – piano
Dezron Douglas – bass
Ulysses Owens Jr. – drums
Eric Alexander – tenor saxophone (track 6)
Dave Chain – guitar (track 1)
Andrew Swift – guitar (track 5)
1) The Madness Within
3) Mom’s Song
4) Modern Man (*by Greg Gisbert)
5) Force (*by Michael Dease)
7) Parental Units
8) The More I See You (*Harry Warren & Mack Gordon)
9) Hospital Room Blues
Produced by Michael Dease – [All compositions by Matt Garrison *except where indicate] | Graphic Design: Andrew Swift (Reminds me of Mr. Smith from Matrix the movie).