Chasing Music: Matt Marshak for Midweek

Now, some of you may know that I’m likely the least patient person under the sun – at least when it comes to chasing music. I sometimes…more than sometimes…bite off more than I can chew. And sometimes, I just look at a scheduled show happening that same day, and say, “You know what? I’m showing up!”

I got a message from Steve Butler the other day. “Coming to Matt Marshak’s?” he asked.

I believe the answer to that was of course.

Now, I’ve been coming to see Matt for a while now. The more I listen into his music, the more I see that I was right when I once asserted that a guitar – especially an electric – is likely the most versatile instrument there is. I’ve heard many guitarists, and seen just as many live. No two bend the strings quite the same way. Chuck Loeb and Russ Freeman have vastly different styles, and both are distinctive enough to tell them apart without looking at who’s playing.

The same is said for Matt. While you can tell the source influences of Wes and Benson, his guitar is so distinctive in its sound, that I can definitely pick him out of the string crowd. The funk is strong with this one, says I, and he infused a fantastic groove with a good bit of NY Attitude(tm).

This show was an excellent way to get the midweek point over, and SOB’s was the stage to do it with. Swathed in Brazilian colors and scents, the venue features a full array of artistic expression, from bhangra DJs to bossa nova brunch. And, once in a bit, you find yourself at SOB’s listening to contemporary jazz. Special EFX’s anniversary show? Check. Jeff Lorber Fusion? Oh yes. And so, Matt Marshak kicked it up.

With a new CD, Urban Folktales, hitting stands this week, fun and funk were the features of the show. I Will Be With You, off the Family Funktion album, was well spiced with Kenny Harris on the bass, and Chris Marshak on drums. The funk on that track just doesn’t quit, and in live show, Matt nearly always injects something else into it. A little growl here, a sharp swipe down a string, and all of a sudden, the guitar starts to take on an entirely different set of tones – old-school style.

Teddy P off the upcoming album was of the same style, and it wasn’t too far into it that I found myself thinking that if the guitar were a vinyl turntable, Matt Marshak is the perfect DJ for it. Really! On this track and on the James Brown cover, the name of which escapes me at the moment, I found the little swipes down the fret of the guitar make a sound very similar to a turntable scratch. Paired with Matt’s signature old-school/new-groove, suddenly, there’s a whole world of possibilities that could come with that.

And, of course, Matt knows it and uses it as only he can.

Needless to say, this was a very, very good treat to have middle of a tough workweek. With thanks to Steve Butler for convincing me (with little resistance on my part, I might add!) to traipse out in the snowy mess. :)


Notabene: Lynn Olson takes us straight into Matt’s new release! Mosey over to her blog at Lynn Lives Jazz.


3 thoughts on “Chasing Music: Matt Marshak for Midweek

Comments are closed.