Label: Silkheart – SHCD 156
Format: CD, Album; Country: Sweden / Released: 2007
Style: Free Jazz, Free Improvisation
Recorded at West Park Studios in Brooklyn, NY 12/04/2007.
Artwork By [Front Cover] – Bob Thompson
Executive Producer [For Silkheart Records] – Keith Knox, Lars-Olof Gustavsson
Photography By – Peter Gannushkin
Photography By [Front Cover] – Lars Hoflund
Producer [For POS Productions] – Michael T.A. Thompson
Recorded By, Mixed By, Mastered By – Jim Clouse
Jazz trios led by a horn other than a saxophone are something of a rarity and while Matt Lavelle is known primarily as a trumpet player (William Parker's Little Huey Orchestra), on Spiritual Power he mostly divides the bulk of his time evenly between the mellower flugelhorn and bass clarinet. This band's natural antecedent is Roy Campbell's Pyramid Trio, another non-sax group where the leader riffs over a propulsive bass-and-drum rhythm section. Here, it's bassist Hilliard Greene (an expert in forward motion from his days with Charles Gayle) who plays the pivot, authoritative with his fingers on the title cut, mournful with the bow in unison with Lavelle's darkly tinted bass clarinet on "End Times and crisply on the leading edge of the rhythm as he mimics the vocalized meter of "S?- Se Puede . Drummer Michael TA Thompson is Greene's perfect partner, articulating each note and accenting every beat. Lavelle's tunes have an organic rightness about them, an economy of language that wastes nothing and brings each performance to a satisfying resolution, the end result of an open-hearted and inspired recording session.
_ By JEFF STOCKTON, Published: April 7, 2007 (AAJ)
Matt Lavelle is a multi-instrumentalist : he plays trumpet, flugelhorn and bass clarinet. This is, I think, his first CD with a trio, and it is more than appealing. He is accompanied by veterans Hilliard Greene on bass and Mike Thompson on drums. The lack of a harmonic chordal instrument is more than compensated by the intensity of the interplay. The tone for the album is set from the first piece, "Spiritual Power" : a powerful, chasing, relentless propulsing composition that gets out the best of the three musicians. The same intensity continues on the second piece, with the trumpet being changed for the clarinet. Don't look for clearly delineated melodies here, but that is definitely not the objective. The third piece, "Si Se Puede" gets Spanish shouting support from the musicians and is an exhilirating, pulsing, halting song with powerful drum and bass work. After all this intensity, "End Times" brings a moment of rest in the album : Greene plays arco for several minutes, to be joined by Lavelle on the bass clarinet, who takes over the initiative and further improvises on the sad theme. The most beautiful piece is "I Will Have Love In My Life" that starts with a drums solo from Thompson and which evolves into a bluesy free theme that hails back to the roots of jazz. Great stuff. For those who like open and unpredictable music.
_ By Stef (FreeJazz)
Silkheart Records / catalog:
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