What is time? Is time the passing of sixty increments called seconds that compose minutes which pass to form hours that grow to days, weeks, years, and a lifetime for the human experience? Boring! Time is emotion! Matt Belzer’s new release Connections builds upon the emotion of time with seven original compositions that reflect a modern evolution of jazz feelings and the sounds of today.
With "Deep Focus," Belzer conveys his emotions through the soprano saxophone, alto flute and clarinet in the frame work of a 7/4 jazz-rock groove. Belzer’s sound is full and warm and displays agile chops with his clear linear lines. Pianist Jon Ozment does a fine job as an accompanist and soloist through the cyclic harmonic texture.
"Misfit the Second," begins with bassist Drew Waters laying down a Morse code inspired bass line in waltz time with Ozment providing rhythmic counterpoint on both piano and electronics. Belzer’s melody is strong and flowing through the extended form which is grouped in 23-beat phrases. Waters and drummer Scott Tiemann connect to maintain a sustained intensity until the final sound effects finish the composition. Throughout the entire project Belzer’s compositions are fresh and thoughtful journeys through time (emotion), always giving the listener an enjoyable experience.
"The Station," is a beautiful ballad performed primarily by Belzer (clarinet) and Waters (six-string bass). Waters provides a full arpeggio pattern under the first part of the melody which leads to the arrival of a rhythmic ostinato figure leading an ensemble passage. Both Waters and Belzer deliver fine solos, as throughout the CD.
The production of the CD is very good. The flow is enjoyable and varied with different instrumental colors, musical style and good compositions. All the players deliver strong musical performances that will provide the listener with ample ear candy.
Matt Belzer’s Connections is a great find for the jazz listener, especially one that enjoys fresh intelligent composition and technically superior musicianship.