Rick VanMatre’s new jazz recording LINES ABOVE takes a journey through that mysterious terrain between lyrically compelling melodies and out-of-bounds harmonic and rhythmic adventure. The saxophonist presents visual art inspired compositions that vary from the tuneful playfulness of Gray Then Blue, to the modern firestorm of Ray’s Return, to the contrapuntal inventiveness of the title track, Lines Above, to the avant-garde “Third Stream” Ashes. Integral to the album is the emotional alchemy with pianist Kim Pensyl, bassist Aaron Jacobs, drummer Tom Buckley, and vibraphonist Rusty Burge, making for some uncanny moments of sixth sense and dramatic narrative. Designed for audiophiles, the state of the art warm and pristine sound frames the quiet, poignant spots, and intensifies the brawny, cathartic screams.
VanMatre is one of the most exploratory saxophonists in the world of jazz and classical music and has presented solo recitals and jazz club performances in the US, Europe, Israel, Brazil, and Asia. He is widely recognized for bringing a unique, identifiable voice to a variety of genres. In addition to leading his own ensembles with original music, his collaborations have included commissions and premieres of unique crossover works, and performances with such diverse artists as Roland Vazquez, John McNeil, Tim Hagans, Gene Bertoncini, the PsychoAcoustic Orchestra, the New York Repertory Orchestra, and the New Third Stream Saxophone Quartet.
“…This is, in short, an absolutely stunning album and an excellent example of the kind of superb jazz that is so often created in our cities and towns nowadays that often goes overlooked by the rest of the country. I urge you to pick this one up; you won’t be disappointed.”
– Lynn René Bayley, Fanfare