Matt Lavelle Quartet among the best of Ugly Beauty: The Month In Jazz – December 2017

Matt Lavelle Quartet, s/t (Unseen Rain)

Matt Lavelle is well known within the lower Manhattan avant-garde jazz scene, but not so much outside it. His primary outlet is the large ensemble 12 Houses, which can feature as many as 16 members. This quartet album finds him backed by pianist Lewis Porter, bassist Hilliard Greene, and drummer Tom Cabrera on a collection of tunes that take hard bop to the edge of freedom but never tip all the way over; Lavelle loves his Ellington and blues as much as the cry of 1960s players like saxophonist Giuseppi Logan, with whom he’s had a long personal and professional relationship. Lavelle plays trumpet, flugelhorn, and alto and bass clarinets on the album, and the pieces vary from Coltrane-esque meditations (“Tamir Rice” is practically a new version of “Alabama”) to jumpy uptempo numbers (“Matt’s Mode,” “Matt Bop”) to gospelized blues vamps (“Fear Has Got To Go”).

Stream “Tamir Rice”:


HD Tracks and MLQ

Matt Lavelle’s Matt’s Mode among Top 20 Jazz Compositions at UK VIBE

It makes sense that Matt’s Mode  by MATT LAVELLE QUARTET on UNSEEN RAIN is on UK VIBE Top 20 Modern Jazz ‘compositions’ of 2017. Matt is the epitome of the jazz composer whose music is designed to bring out the best in improvisers with an eye on the entire history of jazz.  Matt himself is not fond of top 10/20 lists, but we at Unseen Rain are very fond of this one. You can get MATT LAVELLE QUARTET at HD TRACKS or here: MLQ.