Various Authors 8 a.m., March 17
The Mattson 2 drop "Feeling Hands"
Twin brothers Jared and Jonathan Mattson are known in the music world as The Mattson 2. Feeling Hands is their brand new disc, just out on Galaxia records, a Santa Cruz label.
The Mattson's have a long tradition of performing as a twosome, (Jared on guitar/bass and Jonathan on the drums).
They've been given the moniker of "surf jazz" although that wasn't really their initial intent.
"People just started calling us surf jazz and it caught on. It's funny, because we don't even really listen to surf music," said Jonathan.
The Mattson's specialize in an instrumental jazz-rock hybrid which does draw on some elements of surf music, such as melodies generated in the lower register, repeated often for emphasis.
For this latest release the Mattson 2 have wisely chosen to expand and orchestrate their music with a large group of auxiliary musicians, including a horn section, vibraphone, acoustic bass and other strings.
The disc begins with the rockish "Pleasure Point," Jonathan's hi-hat driving Jared's reverb-drenched melody for a track that wouldn't be out of place in a surf movie. "Black Rain" is tremolo guitar chords over Farmer Dave Scher's haunting pedal steel, and the excellently arranged horn section.
"Ode To Lou" is really something else. Jared establishes a slinky, slurring melody, which the strings double on the bridge. Tom Griesser takes an excellent tenor saxophone solo, which seems to inspire Jared Mattson's own fleet fingered and blues inflected essay, easily his best on this disc, and one that places him in the direct lineage of six-string masters like Pat Metheny and John Abercrombie. "Ode To Lou" has many moods and is a highlight moment on this album.
Aakaash Israni plays contrabass on several cuts, and he fills out the bottom end with imaginative lines that stay in the background but add considerable gravity to the proceedings.
There's a dark cowpoke kind of theme to "Living Room" that reminds me of Bill Frisell doing a spaghetti -western soundtrack.
"Mexican Synth" begins with a melody extracted from polychord arpeggios, lots of tasteful layering of auxiliary instruments with trombonist Carroll Ashby leading an expanded horn section through another episodic, grand adventure.
Finally, on "Man From Anamnesis", Jared Mattson leads off with sumptuously voiced chord swells that hang in the air like puffs of smoke--setting up a nice slow groove before Jonathan's insistent hi-hat takes it to another level. Another layer of mystery in the form of lush horns draw the tune down.
Anyone who digs melody oriented instrumental music with equal jazz and rock overtones should give Feeling Hands a listen. Some of these tunes are hard to get out of one's head.
More like this:
- Jeff Kaiser, Peter Sprague Groups Scorch The Loft — April 5, 2012
- Ian Tordella Group, Mattson 2, Dusty Brough & Julien Cantelm — Feb. 26, 2012
- I Know What You’re Thinking: Mattson2 — Dec. 16, 2011
- Standing Room Only for In Motion Trio/The Mattson 2 — Aug. 30, 2011
- The Mattson 2 — June 9, 2010