MICHAEL DOHERTY’S MUSIC LOG reviews Matt De Merritt’s Fool’s Journey

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matt demerritt


Matt DeMerritt CD Cover

Matt DeMerritt: “Fool’s Journey” – Saxophone player Matt DeMerritt has recorded and performed with a large number of artists over the years. Fool’s Journey is his debut album as band leader, and it features mostly original music that he composed. It begins with “Zero Intro,” a short but wild piece that immediately transports us into another world, one that might seem overwhelming. Interestingly, it is followed by the more soothing and earthy vibes of “Wellspring,” with some nice vocal work by Suzy Williams. Soon that good groove takes over, percussion playing a prominent role here, with Matt DeMerritt’s saxophone coming alive over it. Sam Barsh also delivers a wonderful lead on keys on this track. “Elixir” also has a delicious groove to keep us grounded in a joyous land while Matt DeMerritt’s saxophone dances around and above it. Jamelle Adisa joins Matt on trumpet on this track, adding some lively, bright touches, and helping to make this one of the disc’s highlights. That’s followed by “Loner’s Waltz,” which has quite a different vibe, and feels perfect for this time of isolation and social distancing, a waltz you can perform on your own. Sad and beautiful. And “Lunedi” features some excellent drumming. As for the cover material, Matt DeMerritt delivers a warm and pretty rendition of “A House Is Not A Home,” written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David and originally recorded by Dionne Warwick, his version featuring some nice work on piano and bass as well as saxophone. This disc also includes a sweet rendition of Hermeto Pascoal’s “Montreux” that features Fabiano Nascimento on guitar, and a cool, funky version of Joe Henderson’s “Earth” that features Josh Lopez on guitar, Oliver Charles on drums, Satnam Ramgotra on tablas, and Davey Chegwidden on percussion. This album is scheduled to be released on September 18, 2020.

Kari Gaffney

Kari Gaffney

Since 1988 Kari-On Productions has helped artists get an even footing in the industry through jazz promotion in the genres of Jazz, World & Latin Jazz through Jazz Radio and Publicity. Why do we do both, because they compliment each other, and we care about fiscal longevity for the artist.

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