Friday, December 19, 2008

More Favorites of 2008

Another cat I have been deep into lately is saxophonist Matt Otto.

I've been listening to 2 of his recordings:  "Red" which was recorded in 2005 but I've just been into it lately, and "La Commune" which was recorded this year and is available for FREE (donations are appreciated) at Matt's blog.  

Matt is a new discovery for me; discoveries like him are always such a blessing.  His playing is incredible melodic and lyrical without being overly sentimental and his sound is nothing short of beautiful.  He has a very organic approach to developing a line and an understated quality that has been appealing to me more and more.  His harmonic vocabulary is very interesting - he is a protege of George Garzone -  but I never feel that harmonic playing is in the forefront of his approach.  He doesn't play harmony for the sake of harmony.  Everything he plays is in the service of melody.  His rhythmic language is just as fluid and organic.  His tunes float through mixed meter effortlessly but again, all in the service of melody.  In short - I love his playing.

As evidenced by his distribution of "La Commune", he is a very giving cat.  Not only is the entire project available, he also makes lead sheets to all the tunes available as well as his thoughts and insight in each of the compositions.  We have had some email conversations and his comments and advice have really been eye-opening for my own playing.  His website has many lessons available for download.

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