Saturday, February 8, 2014

Matt Newton Within Reach FTM 2014

Odd metered elegance and a splash of abstract impressionism make Matt Newton a name to remember!
Brent Black /
Just when you think you have heard every possible style, approach and cerebral variation on the piano trio there is always an artist that comes along to give you hope.
Welcome Matt Newton.
An intimate yet harmonically rich excursion that moves into a wide variety of soundscapes, melodic plays within a play that while creating a slight disconnect when looking at the release as a completed work, these tunes still maintain a strong and vibrant presence. A complete release built around any of the offerings here would be welcome as the textures move from a more opened improvisational approach walking a dangerous free jazz tightrope as in "Crossway" to a more ethereal retro sound on "Our Own World" complete with amazing melodic colors brought forth from the Rhodes thanks to Matt. Dan Fortin in a lyrical beast throughout and drummer Ethan Ardelli  is a furious technician in the same vein as a Max Roach. The Fortin composition "Ends" is a sophisticated minor key composition that were it not for a working knowledge of the discography, I would have assumed a Chick Corea tune that I wasn't as familiar with. A stunning and introspective number that develops a special organic heartbeat. 
As a follow up to the critically acclaimed Push we find Within Reach similar to an artists paint palette. All colors are there while sometimes shadings will change, Matt Newton shows off a wealth of talent with a rhythm section that brings to mind Paul Motion. The more straight ahead  composition "Within Reach" may best some of this intriguing release, a deceptively subtle swing that is as intricate as it is involved. A great many would argue that the variety would indicate a band that hasn't yet decided on exactly what artistic direction they chose to travel. The destination is yet to be determined but the journey getting there is half the fun, that is the key behind a great trio recording.
Tracks: Within Reach; Crossway; Stepping Into The Light; Short Flight; Our Own World; Building The Ship; Ends; Claire-ity
Personnel: Matt Newton: Piano / Rhodes / Whistles; Dan Fortin: Bass; Ethan Ardelli: Drums; Felicity Williams: Voice (5); Harley Card: Guitar (5)