Matthew Hartnett CD Release
Matthew Hartnett’s Southern Comfort (Feb. 19, 2016) rides on his steady diet of “extremely second line, extremely church-influenced… a lot of R&B, for some reason, madly in love [with] Negro spirituals, the gospel music… funk, James Brown stuff.” Hartnett’s family hails from Louisiana, and the trombonist grew up in Houston.
Those roots are reflected strongly in his own music, completely fresh tracks. Hartnett borrows judiciously from the styles of his youth and his proclivities, only to serve the rhythm and flow of his own voice, whether it’s poured out into the easygoing instrumental music percolating with life’s striations or — as on “Da Crib,” featuring LaChrisha Brown — actual samples of the voices seemingly in his head, brought to fruition.
Unlike a lot of trombonists standing around awkwardly, never knowing when to come in, or how not to step on other musicians’ toes, Hartnett sets the example by laying his truncated lines as the main narrative through and through, whether secondary or lead.
Hartnett himself tries to explain his intent in the album’s liner notes, and comes very close to the music: “The culmination of all things contributed to my life and music lay here. This is from the beautiful itchy fig trees in my grandmother’s backyard in Lake Charles, Louisiana to the ‘draped up and dripped out’ block of Gulf Bank and Antoine in Houston, Texas; from the Ocean of Soul Marching Band to Scott Gertner’s Skybar; from a single man in Houston to a father, husband, and divorcee in New York City. This is gumbo and bayou water. This is glory and pain. This is war and peace. This is happiness and devastation. This is duality. This is the real Matthew Hartnett. Beautifully flawed. Southern Comfort.” Beautifully put.
Hartnett distinguishes his multi-styled influences with influential playing all his own. The full effect will reach beyond just the Southern-based, jazz-fusion fans, into everyday funk and soul, and even pop. Review By: Carol Banks Weber | AXS Contributor| Dec 21, 2015|
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