Review: Matthew Garrison "12 Months"

April 25, 2013

A key to the appeal of Matt Garrison’s innovative sonic, rhythmic, and harmonic tapestries is the possibilities they suggest to the listener, beyond the melodic course he takes. At first spin, Garrison’s overdue third audio CD follows that same inspirational path. From the cinematic “Benjamin’s Dream” and the ECM-ish “Let Go,” to the bass burners “Atmosphere 2” and “Signs,” to the robust “Cut,” with Meshell Ndegeocello on bass (a tune Matt first shared with BP readers in a lesson from his October 2010 BP cover story), your ears and your imagination will be working in conjunction. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, as Garrison says in his liner notes. Thanks to his vision and grasp of technology, Matt off ers options to enhance and personalize your listening experience. Following a provided web link will allow you to purchase audio/video footage of other musicians playing the songs. Depending on the track, that could mean choosing from four drummers, three horn players, even alternate bassists such as Hadrien Feraud, Tim Lefebvre, or Mike Pope. There’s also a bonus cut on the web side.

Will Garrison’s landmark approach change basic concepts about the way music is recorded and presented? Does it offer too many choices that detract from his original artistic vision? That’s up to the listener to decide. More important, Matt continues to dream big and create music that puts us in the same state of mind.

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