Sven B. Schreiber
This is one of the albums that really sweep me away, no matter which track I'm listening to, and its pleasantly long running time of almost 80 minutes guarantees a maximum sweeping effect. Basically, Matt Ulery is a jazz musician and composer playing the double bass, but the magic he creates on this and other albums is well beyond the confines of the genre. The brilliant varied orchestrations clearly put it into a neo-classical chamber music frame, frequently reminding me of Argentine chamber folk, and the smooth vocals contributed by Grażyna Auguścik and Sarah Marie Young add considerably to the magic, as does the piano work of Rob Clearfield, who's a great composer himself.
Favorite track: Write it on the Wall.
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Expanding upon the artistic and critical success of his 2012 double album By a Little Light, Chicago bassist-composer Matt Ulery returns with In the Ivory – eighty minutes of resplendent, lyrical, transportive, and impeccably performed chamber-jazz music. Inspired and motivated by the musical and personal relationships developed while recording and performing By a Little Light, In the Ivory explores the idea of consciousness through patient, lyrical composition.
At a time when classical musicians perform in clubs almost as frequently as jazz musicians appear in concert halls, Ulery has forged a unique signature sound that combines a jazz core with luminous ensemble writing and song craft. Built around a band of select, unique voices, In the Ivory draws upon Ulery’s positive experience performing Light with this particular thirteen-piece aggregation.
Ulery’s sixth album as a leader blends jazz, American minimalism, Eastern European folk music (as a longtime writing member of Chicago band Eastern Blok), and romanticism into a constantly evolving emotional kaleidoscope.
released September 16, 2014
Rob Clearfield, piano
Jon Deitemyer, drums, cymbals, percussion
Matt Ulery, double bass, background vocal (1:2, 1:4, 2:4)
Zach Brock, Yvonne Lam, violin
Dominic Johnson, viola
Nicholas Photinos, cello
Timothy Munro, alto flute
Michael Maccaferri, clarinets
Lisa Kaplan, piano (2:1, 2:6)
Gregory Beyer, marimba, vibraphone, berimbau, maracas
Sarah Marie Young, lead vocal (1:6)
Erik Hall, background vocal (1:6)
Corbett Lunsford, background vocal (1:6)
Grazyna Auguscik, lead vocal (1:2, 1:4, 2:2, 2:4), background vocal (1:6)
Produced by Matt Ulery
Engineered and mixed by Anthony Gravino
Recorded in December 2013 and January 2014 at Shirk Studio and The Drake in Chicago, IL
Mastered by Brian Schwab
All compositions, arrangement, and lyrics by Matt Ulery
Compositions published by Woolgathering Music (ASCAP), 2014
Package design by Jim Tuerk
There’s a Reason and a Thousand Ways
In a photograph
by a firelight
there’s a reason and a thousand ways to die
shot in grey and black
color me in lead
separated, lighted liquid clarified
time will comfort me
come for me
an empty ocean
imagine every waiting rhizome willing
rest a season salty brooding
extent feeding nothing meaning
dried in brine
I’m running out of time
and time's running out on me
below when the hour leads me on
gone too far from round I was wrong
so take me back to when I belong
haven’t had a night
off without an alibi
shut in with a rage
fostering the maze
breeding on display
all for nothing nearly by
sewn of a stain
ripen to a remedy
rusted and worn
again - again
All the rot and wasted rain
a fallen fade
diluted and drained
Yes,yes,yes! I've been waiting for Dave to do this again...two brilliant runs by DDQ and Keystone were documented on Greenleaf back in the day; they were groundbreaking...recorded and released within 24 hours for each set...they were stellar performances and I play them again and again.
With absolutely no chance of ever being there, this is the closest i'll ever be to 'being there'...so excited I may need to lay down in a darkened room for a while! John Cratchley
This quintet has acquired legendary status as a working unit...all the musicians are exemplary at their craft and DD is one of my 'Big5'...he is an exquisite composer of both depth and breadth of vision...you can instantly recognise Dave's DNA in a tune...what's more, you feel there is also so much more to come!;his powers of expression are so special.
These compositions are from the heart and I can only suggest that you take them to yours...
Chicago sax luminary Greg Ward develops the dual-guitar frontline of his backing Rogue Parade quintet as an avatar for singular strength on this zesty collection of jazz-rock fusion songs. Bandcamp Album of the Day Jan 10, 2019