Saxophonist Matt Otto presents the ambitious Iberica, a trip into the sounds of music from the Iberian Peninsula—Spain and Portugal. Ensemble Iberica joins him, a guitar trio that adds—in addition to their guitars—the cavaquinto, the oud, and the Cuban tres, crafting a delicate yet expansive soundscape in this tranquil, flowing, chamber jazz outing.
This is Otto’s first Origin Records outing since 2005’s Red, a superb quartet recording, featuring the tenor saxophonist with a guitar/bass/drums rhythm section. Iberica has a similar, cool mood—Otto’s creative vision is finely focused, and unwavering, from Red through several excellent outings on Jazz Collective Records. The addition of the multiple guitarists, along with Brad Cox on Fender Rhodes and effects, Karl McComas-Reichl on bass and cello, and steel guitarist Mike Stover, wrap Otto’s measured chamber approach in a beautiful lushness, diaphanous and understated, full of graceful harmonics and delicate, shimmering beauty.
Its not an orchestra, but Iberica sounds like the best of the jazz-with-strings genre, similar to, though more restrained and contemplative than Stan Getz‘ work with Eddie Sauter—especially Focus (Verve Records, 1961)—or Michael Brecker‘s Cityscape (Warner Brothers, 1982), with composer/arranger Claus Ogerman. Ensemble Iberica is exquisite in its contributions, but much credit has to go to the sweet, encompassing sustain of Stover’s steel guitar, and keyboardist Cox’s deft yet subtle Rhodes and effects work.
This is enchanting, luminous music. It sounds as if Matt Otto set out to create unalloyed beauty, and succeeded.
Our newest CD, “Soliloquy“, features ten original compositions performed by a wonderful group of Kansas City musicians. This ensemble has been together for just over 7 years now and out of about 60 songs in our repertoire, we picked twelve to record in the studio, ten of which make up this album. The video below contains some of the music from the recording and some photos of the group working together and the Band Camp link at the bottom of the blog post will allow you to take a listen for free.
I’m offering the album in mp3 or Wave format for any modest donation between 1$ and 100$ via PayPal, be sure to mention that it’s for the album “Soliloquy” and I’ll send you a link to the files by email or you can purchase the album at CD baby or iTunes. There’s also a Band Camp link below so you can listen to the whole album for free if you’d like – Thank you for your support!