Longtime New Yorker Matt Kane returns to his Midwestern roots to celebrate three jazz giants of the Show Me State.
New York-based drummer Matt Kane returns to his alma mater, the University of Missouri Kansas City Conservatory of Music, to celebrate not only the young talent of that program, but three of Missouri’s most acclaimed musicians and composers. Pat Metheny, Bobby Watson and Ahmad Alaadeen are represented across nine tunes performed by Kane, bassist Ben Leifer, pianist Andrew Ouelette, saxophonist Michael Shults, trumpeter Hermon Mehari and tenor saxophonist Steve Lambert. Not only are the selections impeccable, but the performances are as well.
The unhurried approach to Watson’s “Wheel Within A Wheel” and “In Case You Missed It” are two of the album’s finest moments and two of the finest for the ensemble. The group also shines on Metheny’s “Midwestern Night’s Dream” and Alaadeen’s “The Burning Sand” and “ASR”. But there really isn’t a bum note in the lot, making this a must-have for jazz lovers across the land. It’d be easy to suggest that Kansas City jazz should rise proud and tall once more, but in truth, the music’s never gone anywhere but up into the stratosphere.