...haunting, understated sophistication...like a skilled boxer, he stays within himself, confidently bobbing and weaving melody through the steady rhythm, jabbing and dancing, soloing in flurries of notes.
Saxophonist and composer Matt Otto's innovative new recording integrates his modern jazz sensibilities with Ensemble Iberica, a Kansas City-based collective devoted to the music of Spain and Portugal, and whose instrumentation focuses on the guitar but includes the Cuban tres, Brazilian Cavaquinho, and Turkish oud. Rendering the lines and voicings of Otto's music within the texture and aesthetic of a chamber music ensemble results in a sound that is both lush and contemplative, creating new, compelling soundscapes. Iberica also features Brad Cox on Fender Rhodes, Karl McComas-Reichl on bass & cello, and Mike Stover on steel guitar.
1 ELM 4:38
2 VIEWED IN 6:18
3 JENNIFER 6:04
4 ST. PAUL 5:02
5 LANGSTON 5:19
6 IBERICA 3:35
7 ECHOLALIA 7:40
8 DU BOIS 6:01
9 JOHN HENRY 6:00
10 JULY FOURTH 4:52
11 AYLER 5:30
Matt Otto - tenor saxophone
Beau Bledsoe - guitar, oud
Jordan Shipley - guitar, cavaquinho
Michael McClintock - electric guitar, Cuban tres, acoustic bass guitar
Brad Cox - Rhodes
Karl McComas-Reichl - bass, cello
Mike Stover - steel guitar
Produced by Matt Otto & Beau Bledsoe
Recorded by Nate Espy at Roof Top Media,
Kansas City, MO
Recorded January 23 & 24, 2016
Mixed & mastered by Matt Otto at JCR Records
Paintings by Elena Ray
Photography & cover design by John Bishop
Midwest Record (Chris Spector)
Music from Kansas City that calls itself jazz but sounds more like Paul Winter that Count Basie? Yep. The sax man hooks up with a guitar trio and some other players, all of whom seem to have more of a world sensibility than you might expect from the heart of the heartland. Right in step with the original world beaters like Winter, Paul Horn or ...
Bird is the Worm (Dave Sumner)
Otto's collaboration with the Ensemble Ibérica is a series of languid expressions, each possessing the potent combination of a stunning beauty and a disarming gentleness. The delicate accents of Spanish and chamber add some compelling textures, and the inclusion of instruments like oud, steel guitar, cavaquinho, cello and Cuban tres brings a live ...
Jazz Weekly (George W. Harris)
Ringer of the Week Tenor saxist and composer Matt Otto puts together a thoroughly original, accessible and exciting session that mixes jazz with Andalusian sounds on this clever session. The unorthodox team includes the "Ensemble Iberica" (Beau Bledsoe/g-oud, Jordan Shipley/g-cav, Michael McClintock/eg-tres) along with Brad Cox/Rhodes, Karl McComa ...