Matt Geraghty Project: Mozaic
For his sophomore effort, Matt Geraghty reconvened the same cast as on the debut, augmented on some of the numbers by special guests. This album, more than its predecessor, emphasizes Geraghty’s love for the sounds of Spain and Brazil. The theme of the opening track “Sevilla” cleverly re-establishes the link between flamenco and Indian music, from which the former is derived. It is followed by two more originals featuring singer Luciano Antonio, a member of Chicago Samba, who wrote his own lyrics.
These three pieces, when compared to the subsequent renditions of Ornette Coleman’s "Turnaround" (also known as “Turnabout”) or “Cinema Paradiso”, underline the duality of this session—although John Coltrane’s “Naima” is given a subtle bossa nova revamping. The original compositions explore the leader’s musical interests outside of jazz and usually create a lighter ambiance. On the other hand, the covers are fairly reverent, but display Geraghty’s keen understanding of the music. On a couple of occasions, he makes an inspired decision by scaling down the band to a trio. The guitar-bass-drums combination is perfectly suited to the bluesy “Turnaround” whereas the piano-bass-drums trio allows for a vivid rendition of Miles Davis’ “Nardis.”
While all the musicians deserve some credit for their valuable contributions and are all given an opportunity to shine, pianist Ben Lewis is the real revelation. His versatility allows him to assert himself in all contexts. In a nutshell, he proves himself to be the ideal partner for Geraghty. As for the leader, he does not indulge in solos and his sturdy sound really anchors the music. His musicality is also one of his greatest strengths, whether he plays his upright bass (“Nardis” or “Turnabout”) or switches to his electric bass (“Bassline to Bowery.”)
Mozaic is a good place to sample the musical world and playing of one the Windy City ’s most melodic bassists.
Self-released. Visit www.mattgeraghty.com