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Matt's Mood
Wednesday, November 03, 2004   By: Juan Paxety

Recommended music

Cutting away from politics, I want to recommend some music - Matt's Mood, by Matt Bianco.  Who?

Matt Bianco was a band made up of Mark Reilly and Danny White back in the 80s.  Joining them as a singer was Danny's then girlfriend Basia Trzetrzelewska.  They cut one album, 1984's "Whose Side Are You On" before breaking up.  Mark teamed with Mark Fischer and continued Matt Bianco - Danny and Basia went on to be "Basia."

Twenty years later, neither had a record deal, so they decided to put the original trio back together and see what happened.  I bought an import from Germany, as it hasn't been released in the U.S. yet. I was expecting a nice, nostalgic return to the 80s.  What I got was something quite different.

"Matt's Mood" is one of the smartest albums I've ever heard.  Basia and Mark's lyrics and strong and interesting.  Danny's melodies are good - and his song structures are fascinating.  There's always a little surprise.  Technically the album is wonderful. But many of the little things are exquisite.

Basia has worked on her vocals.  She's been with trumpet player Kevin Robinson for a number of years.  He has a great deal of technical expertise in his playing - I think he must have spent a lot of time in the woodshed with the Arban's book.  I hear his technical skill now in Basia's vocals. 

Mark still sings like he always has, and at first, I was not impressed.  Then I realized that he provided a solid, simple vocal base that allowed Basia to soar around him. Just wonderful.

A big part of the first album was the baritone saxophone solos by Ronnie Ross.  Ross died in the interim, but Danny had some unused solos by Ronnie on tape.  The group wrote three songs to go with the solos - one a tribute to Ross called "Ronnie's Samba."

The album is set for release in the U.S. in March. Plan to buy it.

Or you can buy the import version through this Amazon link.



(c)1968- today j.e. simmons or michael warren