The Matt Savage Trio – Hot Ticket: Live in Boston – Savage Records

by | Jan 5, 2008 | Jazz CD Reviews | 0 comments

The Matt Savage Trio – Hot Ticket: Live in Boston – Savage Records, 1 hr. **** [Release date Jan. 22, 2008]:

(Matt Savage, piano; Dave Robaire, bass; Joe Saylor, drums)

Matt Savage is only 15 now, and at age 8 Dave Brubeck was just one of the existing jazz community who flipped out at his genius-level keyboard chops. Afflicted with a variety of autism, he is one of fewer than 100 people known worldwide as “prodigious savants.”  Their skills would be regarded as spectacular even if they were demonstrated by someone without a disability of any kind. Among therapies he had starting at age 3 was auditory integration to retune his sensory and social perceptions. Following that his musical skills were accelerated and he taught himself to read piano music and began studies in classical piano. At age 7 he discovered Monk, Coltrane and Miles and jumped into jazz in a big way.  Now he’s even been made a Bosendorfer Piano artist and performs on that Rolls Royce of pianos at his concerts.

This is the sixth album of Matt’s Trio. All the dozen tunes on it except for Miles’ Seven Steps to Heaven are originals composed by Matt. They cover a wide range of moods and tempi.  There’s a simplicity and directness about them, with rather formal chordal structure, but often unusual harmonies and phrasing. It sounds like a pianist/composer feeling his way to evolving a completely distinctive style – but someone of, say, 25 or 30, not just 15.  His special arrangement of Seven Steps is very uptempo and swinging, with rapid runs all over the keyboard.  Only when you hear his voice introducing the tunes do things begin to fit together about what you are hearing.

TrackList: Muy Caliente, Father’s Day, Setting Sun, Quittin’ Time, Black-Key Magic, An Awful Song, El Fuego, A 6/4 Song, Colors, Seven Steps to Heaven, Curacao, Free and Easy.

 – John Henry

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