Monday, October 1, 2012

Matthieu Marthouret Organ Quartet DMCHR 2012

A jazz collective with attitude. When I started writing about jazz I never dreamed I would build an audience in Europe simultaneously. I'm not complaining! Germany, Italy, and now France are some of my most ardent readers and for that I am truly grateful, not just for the friendship and kindness but an opportunity to spend just a little time examining the jazz culture of these countries that has so far blown me away with unlimited potential and jazz aficionados here in the United States should take notice.  

The Matthieu Marthouret Ogran Quartet is no different except for one small but incredibly important difference. What we take for granted here in the States is revered and honored in not only the European countries I mentioned earlier but all over the globe from Japan to Brazil, they treasure what we take for granted. The joy that springs forth from the creative process where tradition and innovation become one as a shining new star emerges on the hammond organ. Sure, I'm a sucker for a great hammond player and Marthouret and his 4tet more than deliver the goods with UPBEATS. A nice textured release with swing and even some more straight ahead tunes that showcase a first rate quartet. Drawing from myriad of influences the ensemble never loses accessibility while charting their own unique musical course.

"Spring Bossa" opens the release with a vibrant flavor where Marthouret shines. Rich harmonics and that bright and breezy Brazilian flavor that is the kind of beat you hear with your feet. Sandro Zerafa turns in a wonderful performance on guitar, clean lyrically driven playing all while effortlessly shifting meter at will. The title tune "Upbeats" is an inventive harmonic exploratory with guest artist David Fettmann on alto saxophone. A syncopated pop with a keen sense of melody while setting out on the lyrical road less traveled. One primary key to success with this release is the ability of Marthouret to occasionally lay back and allow the controlled sonic fury of players like Fettmann and drummer Manuel Franchi take over. This is a true working band in every sense of the word. "The Weird Monk" is deceptively subtle riff on Thelonious Monk or is it? There is a delightful whimsical flair that highlights Marthouret's prolific talents as a composer. Every individual made significant contributions to this release brimming with subtle nuances that reveal more of them self with each spin of the disc.

Matthieu Marthouret contacted me to check out his release and while playing global critic is sometimes the equivalent of playing musical prospector, this is a gold nugget! 

Tracks: Spring Bossa; 564; Kairos; Bends; Prelude; Upbeats; The Tree In The Backyard; The Weird Monk; Inconsistent Loop.

Personnel: Matthieu Marthouret: hammond organ & all compositions; Nicholas Kummert: tenor saxophone & voice (3,4,6,7,8,9) ; David Perez: tenor saxophone (1,2); Sandro Zerafa (1,2), Maxime Fougeres: guitar (3,4,5,6,7,8,9); Manuel Franchi: drums; David Ferrmann: alto saxophone (6).