CD Sustain [Mat Maneri Quartet] (CD 979938),
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Sustain [Mat Maneri Quartet]

  • 1. Alone (Origin) - (origin)
    2. In Peace
    3. Alone (Construct) - (construct)
    4. Sustain
    5. Alone (Unravel) - (unravel)
    6. Nerve
    7. Alone (Cleanse) - (cleanse)
    8. Divine
    9. Alone (Mourn) - (mourn)
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 57122

  • Credits
    EngineerJaime Soft

    Matt Maneri Quartet: Mat Maneri (acoustic & electric violin); Craig Taborn (piano, keyboards); William Parker (bass); Gerald Cleaver (drums).
    Additional personnel: Joe McPhee (tenor saxophone).
    Personnel: Mat Maneri (viola); Joe McPhee (soprano saxophone); Craig Taborn (keyboards); Gerald Cleaver (drums).
    Recording information: Frank Booth.
    Photographer: Cynthia Fetty.
    It is difficult to think of this as anything but pure joy, although in some ways it is less intense than other releases led by the remarkable violist Mat Maneri and it is stamped with a cerebral quality from the start. There is a surprisingly charming density, too, that comes through on most tracks, though as with most of his work, there are few if any melodic references but instead a focus on color and sound. Maneri carefully paces himself and the quintet so that every note counts, resulting in some of his most interesting work on disk. At times it might seem somewhat slow, even morose, but upon close listening a diversity and a depth are revealed that belie the noir episodes. Of course, it helps to have major talent such as bassist William Parker and multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, who is heard exclusively on soprano sax. Ultimately, what makes this so attractive is that the suite of tunes is somehow completely different than anything else that the violist has recorded before and it has the stamp of something important that transcends individual notes. Craig Taborn's stunning keyboards sound like an electric guitar at one moment and an electric piano the next. (His work on acoustic piano should raise more than a few eyebrows.) Most importantly, the pianist is immersed in an aesthetic of surprise, so that the rhythm trio of Taborn, Parker, and Gerald Cleaver not only meshes but opens windows of opportunities for Maneri and McPhee. Those familiar with Maneri's work will be delighted at the subtlety, restraint, and complexities; this is possibly his most accessible album to date and one that is filled with memorable moments. ~ Steven Loewy

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