Dmitri Matheny

Cascadia

origin 82849

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MUSIC REVIEW BY Rick Anderson, CD Hotlist

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Here's the challenge when you're a jazz flugelhorn player: avoiding sounding like a TV commercial soundtrack from 1979. It's not your fault; it's just that the flugelhorn has such a sweet, soft tone that it was the favorite vehicle for easy-listening music during that heavily easy-listening decade. So what does Dmitri Matheny do? He takes the dangerous path: he embraces the softness of his instrument, but puts it to work delivering sharp, serious music. Check out the title track, for instance: it's all soft edges and bumping Latin rhythms, but there's a sly sophistication to the chord changes underneath the gentle melody; "Dark Eyes" is a ballad with an evocative noir vibe, on which Matheny's flugelhorn and Charles McNeal's tenor sax trade off so silkily that you almost don't notice the transitions. And almost as if daring us to underestimate him, he even performs an arrangement of Glen Campbell's 1970s pop-country classic "Wichita Lineman" — and makes it emotionally powerful. For all libraries.








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