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Matt Haviland: Beyond Good and Evil

- CD Reviews

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Matt Haviland: Beyond Good and Evil

Matt Haviland on trombone
Vincent Herring on alto/tenor sax
Benny Green on piano
Ugonna Okegwo on bass
Gene Jackson on drums
Scott Wendholt on trumpet

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
October 12, 2008

This CD presents contemporary jazz with mixed brass (saxes, trombone, trumpet), piano, bass, and drums, in mostly original compositions. Matt Haviland has assembled fine musicians for his ensemble, including Benny Green on piano and Vincent Herring on saxes. Matt’s trombone is featured throughout, in a variety of moods, from earthy to explosive, and in a variety of tones, from atonal to mellifluous.

Notable Tracks:

#2 – And Away She Goes - Composed by Matt Haviland. Generous solos by Matt Haviland and Vincent Herring highlight this track, followed by equally enticing solos on piano and drums. Benny Green captures Haviland’s concept with pizzazz and professionalism. The music is peppy, upbeat, and replete with smooth refrains.

#3 – But Beautiful - Composed by Burke & Van Heusen. This lovely standard is a good addition to the recording, a nice contrast. Green introduces it with languorous melancholy, and Haviland picks it up on trombone with soul and seamless melody. Gene Jackson keeps the rhythm light, never overwhelming the mood.

#9 - Bolivia - Composed by C. Walton. A good CD recording has diverse tracks that offer the listener a change of tempo and style. Bolivia does just that, with some explosive piano passages, percussive fireworks, and a trombone lead that keeps the music momentous. Cedar Walton, composer, would be proud.

#10 - Broome St. Blues - Composed by Matt Haviland. This piece is led mostly by Scott Wendholt on trumpet, with Herring and Haviland coming in for brassy contrast. There’s a clapping theme, with the brass contingent together, and the composition has unique style and sound. Ugonna Okegwo, on bass, adds rich resonance in each of the ten tracks.

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For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at