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mat walerian

new album coming

May 2020 | ESP-Disk' label

Brooklyn, NYC



Mat Walerian Matthew Shipp William Parker Hamid Drake

"Every Dog Has Its Day But It Doesn't Matter Because Fat Cat Is Getting Fatter"

with :

Mat Walerian | saxophone + woodwinds
Matthew Shipp | piano
William Parker | double bass + shakuhachi
Hamid Drake | drums + percussion

from liner notes by Steve Dalachinsky :

between the first & last tracks which move beyond traditional style & category we have more easy-going playful witty variations on blues > funk> et al > fierce energetic soft emotive spontaneous creations > despite Walerian’s occasional instructions the music remains a rapidly flowing river of ideas > a kinetic visceral kaleidoscope of fleshy fractured & fractious fragments > @ times near demented >

to hear/deal with Walerian’s music means to oft-times deal with his infectious boisterous/ brave daring & freewheeling personality > strange chambered life forms emerge… links of sound/tone expression all being aroused by various methods without overthinking the results of these methods particularly in the first & last tracks > the music @ it’s best when it plays itself > at times deeply personal filled with textures jagged melodies connective yet flying in all possible & impossible directions > bass > shakuhachi > drums > piano > reeds > duets quartets trios solos > “crazy quartet” as Walerian puts it…. a spectrum of sound & color balloons > beginning & ending > building an exquisite serene supreme reverberation extended toward howls >

contrast & blend is what M.W.’s music is all about > gentle harsh/a gentle harshness/an equally harsh gentleness > dark filled (f)light > united elevated unit > in a field of wavelengths / sweet shivers > single notes octaves block chords > new wine in old bottles > like what we remember & what we forget > the spiraling universal language / swirling passages > quartet whose union is free of bureaucratic anxiety / containing break-free-energy > the very fiber of music’s elements shoots through every note beginning with an ecstatic opening / tapping / plucking by William Parker / increasing & diminishing in pitch / volume & intensity / quiet halt opening into deep eerie contemplative & complex mastery/mystery of imagination / Drake entering on frame drum / the quartet in an almost sublime state of togetherness & conversation showing us what the power of speech can provide > indelible unwavering organizational energies / 4 driving forces forcing & flowing in & out of “normalcy” > & deep spirituality > with minor prodding by Walerian in an anxious but loving sort of way the group reaches an immediate collective consciousness making concise on-the-spot decisions conquering essential musical issues & problems with seamless near-ESP alternative choices > the organization of sound beyond yet within traditional forms > incredible self-organizing within a collective conscious/process > Walerian’ heartfelt moans & cries never pushing / never trying to purposely excite the listener / all the others in the group calmly erupting as well / a relaxed controlled chaos / this is not about weakness inherent in so many players who self-consciously push the envelope or understate / this is about pure dialectic/dialect coming to the surface from deep down as it enters the body-heart-mind-soul through the unknown factor we at times call the MUSE…

Walerian switches to flute with the fluttering base sound & almost Asian patter internal/external exoticism > more like Lester Young’s relaxed incantations > Drake’s brushes sweeping like rain sticks individual voices resurface within the totality of the mix unique development within higher levels of ideas……. then forgotten > no need to go back there > within & where this ultimate the track after 18 minutes unaggressive suddenly waltzes to a halt….

Walerian > outspoken > free> yet is totally inwardly structured when it comes to the music > his system > growth > discipline > interacting with fierce dramatic results with the discipline of his three elders > inside a closed sphere > openings at every seam > no struggle > solidarity > weapons of peace yet extremely explosive sans anger & violence > transforming the center as the struggle becomes a dance > the flash fire becoming a quirky Monkish melody > the demands made on each other are completely moot > only the result counts as one musician instinctively attentively furthers other’s path/objective with both subjective/objective approaches & perspectives reached without bias / hierarchy / ritual or control > always retaining equilibrium……. a group of theoreticians rooted in the NOW > THE REAL > a four-way ladder > foundation laid thru up/down > the ultimate form of democracy > towards “Vers la Flame” > always where the river meets the sea in a world of pine cones / stones / shells / skin & bones / to the CORE > where dying rhododendrons can reassure themselves within a host of contradiction > a mosaic of phenomena > frenetic without being frantic > not why you swing but how you swing > all different time signatures within a near mystifying quadrant while actually demystifying actions as they occur > economical when called for > expansive / methodical / unpredictable counter-insurgencies > engaged in or rather engaging combat without being combative > working with not against each other / though always somewhat against the grain for the most part without EGO > tripping / hanging / jumping / off the bridge / one tune very Horace Silver-esque…

this is possibly the recording where Walerian invokes the most motifs & styles > cool hard bop third stream swing suspension atonality glissandi / complex thoughts combined with populist sensibilities / intervallic bursts intersecting lines floating within above below > a virtual melting pot of ideas & feelings… unlock the door > climb within this earnest illuminating breeze then spread those wings.

steve dalachinsky nyc park west studios 5/21/18