Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bandwagon review for Quartet Art

My album "Quartet Art" procured another review. Unfortunately this magazine is pretty new and doesn't have much of a web presence, so the following is the review typed up from Bandwagon Magazine, Vol. 1, Issue 7, September 2011.

“Welcome to Greeley, the Jazz capitol of Colorado! Don’t believe me? Then check out Matt Smiley’s new album “Quartet Art.” Self produced at the UNC Studios with Greg Heimbecker engineering, you’ll hear top-notch talent that easily compares to the best anywhere. Matt’s superb compositions and bass playing are matched with Matthew Coyle on drums, Josh Reed on trumpet, David Pope on tenor sax, and Greeley resident Ryan Fourt on guitar. The result is something new, and it’s full of cutting edge and traditional styles that are unique to northern Colorado.

The 14 track album starts with a couple of improvisational pieces, highlighting each member. By track three, we’re planted firmly in melodic terrain with lush sax work on top of solid rhythms. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, we’re launched into an experimental universe that takes us clearly into uncharted waters, and the album clearly starts to shine.

It’s obvious these guys know what they’re up to and how to blend their instruments into a highly enjoyable audio experience. I would not be surprised to find they had a blast as well. The music has a way of being both pure and complex. The production meanwhile is clean and precise. Admittedly, the casual listener might be a bit challenged, but anyone with an ear for the “good stuff” will find listening to this album over and over again, is time well spent.

Rest assured, our local jazz scene is in capable hands and our own jazz visionaries are on the right path. Take a trip to the outer reaches of the universe and return safely back home. Here’s your soundtrack for the journey!

Currently, it’s available as a download at iTunes, Amazon.com, and eMusic.com. You can catch Matt at his regular weekly gig at Ace Gillett’s in Ft. Collins, Thursday-Saturday from 8-midnight, and in Greeley, starting August 29th at Zoes Matt will launch his ongoing experimental concert series. Go to www.myspace.com/smileymnbass for more info.

-Joe Lee Parker BandWagon Magazine”

Another great mention was my alma mater, James Madison University, put a mention in the Fall 2011 edition of the Madison Magazine:

"Quartet Art, by Matt Smiley ('07)

Zach Diaz/Soulspazm Digital, 2011

Matt Smiley ('07) of Fort Collins, Colo., released Quartet Art with JMU albums Matthew Coyle ('06), percussionist, and Josh Reed ('07), trumpeter. The CD also features JMU saxophone professor David Pope. Smiley, a music major and jazz minor, performs bass on his jazz-influenced debut. Smiley says the album is a "journey in soundscapes, half-composed and half improvised." The CD runs the gamut of soft ballads and energetic tunes to sonic adventures like the title track. Smiley wrote 13 of the 14 songs and enjoys a regular gig at a Colorado's (sic) Ace Gillett's. http://soulspazm.com/digital/QuartetArt "

Great reviews, and hopefully more to come! As far as the blog is concerned, I will be posting soon-ish about Free Jazz vs. Free Improv, with my list of top ten albums from each musical world. Stay tuned!

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