Every year, thousands of artists record and promote their brand of jazz in hopes of elevating the consciousness of America's only original art form. Four individuals who perform under the moniker Callisto are just one of a number of up and coming musicians who represent the future of jazz.
Hailing from Washington, D.C., tenor saxophonist Steve Rogers, guitarist John Leber, bassist Eric Wheeler and drummer Jonathan Matloff have recorded a CD entitled 'Presents Project Volume I.' Collectively, these four musicians have come together to express their fundamental interpretations they have found in fusing a variety of musical styles into one complete jazz activated sound energy experience. In addition, Callisto has drawn inspiration from their years of studying jazz in all its flavors, musical influences and professional gigs they have played in individually. In bringing all of these experiences into play, the end result is four tracks of surprising originality. 'Presents Project Volume I' is the first CD for this quartet. The recording combines rock, funk, hip-hop, electronic and improvised jazz fundamentals to introduce aficionados to four guys that appear to have a very promising future.
This debut release for Callisto is very difficult to classify because it touches the passions of so many influences. 'Presents Project Volume I' is touched by a sampling of blues, a touch of contemporary jazz, an electronic element highlighting a multi-faceted array of rhythmic beats and an ample helping of dominant R&B grooves. Overall, Callisto also displays a penchant for jazz as well, coupled with an innate ability to prominently expose their creative juices in the process. What is just as profound is their presentation of individual talent throughout the recording. At various moments, all four musicians have an opportunity to highlight their skills singularly. That one aspect alone makes up for the lack of additional tracks. The group chose to record only four tunes their first time out.
Prominently heard throughout 'Presents Project Volume,' the enduring sound of Steve Rogers saxophone reverberates, as the acoustic rhythms of John Leber's guitar serves as a spicy condiment. Augmented by the strong bass presence of Eric Wheeler, drummer Jonathan Matloff does his part to provide percussive dynamics to the group to complete this journey into originality. At each and every juncture of this CD there is an unbridled expression of all four musicians. Unfortunately, with only four tracks being presented, listeners are left with a desire for more of Callisto's diverse offering of jazz. The next time out, maybe they will provide a broader portrait of their abilities as jazz composers and musicians.