June 2005

Matthias Lupri
Transition Sonic

Innovative vibist Matthias Lupri issues an implied challenge with his latest album, Transition Sonic (Summit): to listen intelligently and repeatedly. His compositional style is so carefully woven that themes recur like old friends in different clothes. He has even written a brief "Sonic Prelude"-somewhat in the style of an opera overture that contains arias to be heard later. In fact, the prelude segues into "Sonic" without a break.

Kathleen Flynn

Matthias Lupri

Elsewhere there are many melodic and harmonic segues that bridge the breaks. The final chord of "Middle Zone" foreshadows the first in "The Day After," and "Deception" ends on a high-pitched D-minor chord, from where "Iceland Dark" begins a slow exploration of the same chord. "Iceland Dark" ends with a mysterious six-note motif in alternating 7/4 and 6/4, which opens "Chime Trance." And on it goes. In other words, Lupri has fashioned a 12-part suite of stunning beauty filled with atmospheric writing and virtuosic playing from a front line that in addition to the leader includes tenor/soprano saxophonist Mark Turner and trumpeter Cuong Vu, who are relentlessly exhorted by guitarist Nate Radley, bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Jordan Perlson.

Originally published in June 2005

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