|| Matt Lavelle Trio
Cat. No.: SHCD156
Matt Lavelle trumpet (3), flugelhorn (1), (5), (7), bass-clarinet (2),
Hilliard Greene bass
Mike T.A. Thompson drums
1. Spiritual Power (Lavelle) 8:45
2. Stars Like Fleas (Lavelle) 7:09
3. Sí Se Puede (Yes We Can) (Lavelle) 7:49
4. End Times (Lavelle) 8:34
5. I Will Have Love in my Life (Lavelle) 13:19
6. Hey Liduva (Lavelle) 5:16
7. Seth Speaks (Lavelle) 11:08
Total time: 62:23
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|Spiritual power: the ability to save, or change someones life through
music, and/or the ability to overcome any obstacle with music as the guiding transformational
||"Lavelles tunes have an organic rightness about them, an economy of language that wastes nothing and brings each performance to a satisfying resolution, the end result of an open-hearted and inspired recording session."
Jeff Stockton, AllAboutJazz, April 2007
Over the years I've seen a lot of "new talent" come and go. Some are
very young, some already over-the-hill. All eager to make it and to make the "SCENE."
To be hip. Cool. It. Then there are those who come to play the music and to seek
mentors and try to make it in the toughest possible scene there is. That being
the world of so-called "avant-garde" or "free" jazz, where
nothing is free but the music and even that comes at a high cost. No money. Few
gigs. Lots of people to impress in a very small though widening community. Self
sacrifice. Discipline. And above all finding one's own voice.
Multi-instrumentalist Matt Lavelle (adept on both trumpet and bass clarinet) is
the latter. He arrived in New York, to challenge and be challenged. To learn and
take and give. And give he does with all his heart, soul, guts to the music and
people he loves and respects.
When I first heard Lavelle, I thought "Oh no another new kid in town hookin'
up with some of my crazy friends who I admire" like Daniel Carter, Sabir
Mateen, William Parker, Roy Campbell (who Lavelle emulates more than anyone on
this disc). Why crazy? Because they too have dedicated their lives to this music.
I thought, "Where's he goin'?" "Will he get any better?" "He
need a lot a work." "He needs to cool out." And sometimes I thought
"Geez. He downright sucks." I felt "Hey this is not one of those
WOW experiences that keeps me listening." Well quite frankly I didn't think
Then BLAM one day he opened my ears and like some but not many, I realized that
he had grown, not only as a (hu)man but as a musician. So many I knew dropped
by the wayside or remained dedicated but never got any better. So I scratched
my head and said "Boy was I wrong about this one." And even though he
never knew the way I felt I even apologized to him for my snap judgment.
And now Mr. Lavelle, who is neither longer young, nor over-the-hill, has become
one of the most vital and key players on the "SCENE." I have watched
him blossom, as his mentors have and as anyone listening to this disc and who
might have heard him a few years back can attest to. I have watched his powers,
spiritually, emotionally and physically strengthen. I have listened to the way
he has expanded upon and smoothed out the edges yet always realizing that he must
leave them a bit jagged and rough. Always realizing that the elusive angel freedom
is the thing to always seek out try to capture and immediately let loose. Always
acknowledging that freedom itself is an illusion and one must chase it while at
the same time realizing that it is this very idea of freedom that confounds us
all. That traps us. Entices us. And in the sense of the BIG PICTURE, at the risk
of repeating myself, is never really there.
Lavelle for me has become a symbol of the times and a force that transcends those
times. He is a shockingly melodious gruffly silk-toned being. "I'm not young"
he proclaims. "This cd is the culmination of 18 years of practice and not
giving up. It took 18 years of living to make the music on this album", this
coming from someone who is still in his 30's. "It's now or never" he
screams on the bass clarinet. NOW being the BIG NOW of ALWAYS.
With Spiritual Power Lavelle establishes himself as a major player and
he is backed on this fine achievement by two stalwart veterans. My long time friend
bassist Hilliard Greene whom I first heard play in the late 80's with the great
Charles Gayle who has several incredible Silkheart releases and to whom the title
track (along with William Parker another Silkheart artist) is dedicated. The other
player in this marvelous trio is drummer Michael Thompson, who I heard for the
first time a couple of years ago with my birthday brother, trumpeter Roy Campbell.
Campell's amazing group The Pyramid trio has a milestone recording on Silkheart
and the 3rd track on this disc, Sí se Puede (Yes We Can) is dedicated
to them. You see what I mean Lavelle learns from and never forgets his
mentors. As with track 2 Stars Like Fleas which is dedicated to Ornette
Coleman someone Lavelle has been spending a lot of time with lately and of whom
he states "is my new friend who has changed my life and set me free."
Lavelle's diversity shines through-out this cd. Like the Moon he goes through
all the phases. 1/4 tones. 1/2 tones. Full out full/filling all the muse's demands,
whims and wishes. This is forceful yet unforced music.
Spiritual Power for Lavelle is the ability to change and/or save one's
life through Music and as he states in End Times, which is dedicated to
the world at large, we are faced with the near impossible challenge of overcoming
ourselves. Yet he also tells us with I Will Have Love in my Life (which
he dedicates to himself) that even though he's been alone most of his life it
won't always be that way. Other tracks are Hey Liduva a love song for his
ex-girl who started life off tragically and Seth Speaks after the book
of the same name. All simple messages presented in a complex way through the miracle
that is music.
Spirit hum hymn soul force vigor strength influence like looking up after
being bit by a tiny little bug (nature's gift maybe) and seeing stars a one/two
punch and then speaking in tongues as you channel all those uni/verses all those
his/stories and her/stories building pyramids of love before end times come.
Hey are you listening I will have love we will have love yes yes yes we can
we can we can
now let's float down the large river of life then rest
awhile though never closing our ears always listening to what approaches and
baffles us with the knowledge that knowledge never ends like clarity let us
go forth unarmed yet ready for everything with our perceptions and dreams always
fine tuned true seekers riding straight through embraced and transformed like
breath like mind senses honed in the pale/dark mountains rising between asleep
and awake sailing alone together alone unafraid simultaneously through time
and space eyes open like blind men searching the horizon of ideas for new secrets
always understanding nothing everything sound being the center