Album Reviews

Music You Don't Know You Like Yet

MATT RENZI

Rise and Shine

2014-02-28

I'll cut to the chase: there's one piece on Matt Renzi's album Rise and Shine that I wholeheartedly recommend. That's the first cut,  "Noasis". I'm guessing that's pronounced with three syllables, to rhyme with oasis, but I don't actually know. On Noasis you'll hear the sort of melody, rhythm, and harmonies that don't scare people away.  The other 7 tracks feature the sort of tuneless chaotic noodling that disenchants so many of the people who otherwise find lots to like in many jazz styles.

Matt Renzi is the composer of all the tracks on Rise and Shine. He plays wind instruments, mostly the reeds (tenor sax, oboe, clarinet) but also flute. Renzi comes from San Francisco. The other members of his trio come from New York. They are Dave Ambrosio on bass and Russ Meissner on drums. You'll also hear Giridhar Udupa doing what he calls "vocal percussion" and what I call scat. Rounding out the performers on Noasis is A.R. Balaskandan on the South Indian mridangam, a wooden double-headed drum.  (The dictionary at www.m-w.com can pronounce that word for you.)

Noasis sounds like it is going somewhere. Even if it never gets there, it entertains along the way. Renzi's tenor sax tells a story, and the percussionists keep it grounded. As with many traditional jazz pieces, It states a theme to start, explores the theme, restates it again. Finally Riridhar Udupa takes over for a full minute with his vocal percussion, a scat-like that comes in on the tail end of the sax melody then stands on its own.

Recommended: Track 1 "Noasis" (4:16).

---Gerald Etkind

Quick Links:

More reviews tagged #Jazz

  • reviewed 02/2008

    GIACOMO GATES
    Luminosity

  • reviewed 11/2010

    FO/MO/DEEP
    Eclecticism

  • reviewed 08/2017

    Yelena Eckemoff Quintet
    In The Shadow Of A Cloud

  • reviewed 06/2007

    ABBEY LINCOLN
    Abbey Sings Abbey

  • reviewed 02/2010

    GALACTIC
    YA-KA-MAY

  • reviewed 11/2007

    VARIOUS ARTISTS
    Live at the Monterey Jazz Festival, Highlights, Volume 1

Compiled by the WYCE Journalism Club

The opinions expressed in these reviews are those of the individual volunteers that submitted the article and do not necessarily reflect the views of WYCE or GRCMC; nor its staff, donors, or affiliates.