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Lotus Blossom by Matt Criscuolo

After all is said and done and the day is fulfilled, it’s the tones of sound that offer closure to that lasting emotion. For this is what occurs jazz is allowed to embrace the atmosphere orchestrated by a talented and creative source. With the release of Lotus Blossom in 2005, the second effort by one Matt Criscuolo, the above happening is what evolves. Mr. Criscuolo allows his sax driven tones to filter through one’s life enhancing those listeners’ moments with each spin. Lotus Blossom is again a fine effort and a well-designed effort in jazz.

Classic tones from all directions are provoked through the effort. Energized by some very talented intellects this ensemble tends to accompany the Criscuolo sax from all angles. This also tends not to be a sole sax sounding effort as all instruments have their moments and individual statements throughout. However they all deserve marquees, as one standout is the ivory work of Larry Willis, a piano with personality is hard to come by but delivered on this stage.

On that note, "Everything I Have Is Yours" is a perfect example of the piano personality with a delicate yet determined intro. The Criscuolo sax then with sensual style enters the room and fetches in all who dare to listen and feel. A fine piece for that time when the shades are drawn and the moonlight exposes itself. The listener will also note the Ray Mantilla percussion, hinting its binding importance to the success of the cut.

Treat yourself to a Criscuolo original labeled "Julian’s Pencil", as sounds come from all angles with discipline keeping together. The hot tempo of the sax offers different tones and Eric McPherson taking his skins on the same ride, allows for a entertaining arrangement.

Seize this effort into your collection and let it blend in to your jazz ensemble. With this production I can visualize much more as Criscuolo leaps from level to level with this cast by his side. Lotus Blossom has the appeal, personality, and creative juices within to make any level of jazz fan take notice. Nice Job!

Karl Stober is an international freelance columnist and broadcaster who can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Karl can also be reached at 1-802-380-6065.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Matt Criscuolo
  • CD Title: Lotus Blossom
  • Genre: Contemporary Jazz / Modern
  • Year Released: 2005
  • Record Label: Self
  • Rating: Three Stars
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