Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Mat Maneri Quartet: Dust (Sunnyside)

A review of the latest album from the violist-led quartet

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Mat Maneri Quartet, Dust
The cover of Dust by the Mat Maneri Quartet

Putting aside for the moment mention of chamber-jazz weaves, global influences, modal designs, and high-wire improv, what’s the most economical way to describe the performances on Dust? How about suggesting an alternative four-letter album title? Soul, for instance.

After all, that’s the common emotional thread running through these mostly introspective, artfully executed performances—a yearning vocal-like quality that helps account for why even the longest, most multifaceted tracks consistently cohere. Of course, Maneri’s contributions are crucial. In addition to playing viola and a key role during two improvised pieces, he wrote five of the seven compositions included here. His seemingly innate lyricism, previously highlighted in a variety of significant collaborations (Cecil Taylor, Paul Motian, et al.), is often distinguished by such a breathy, reed-like tone that you may sometimes find yourself wondering whether this four-piece ensemble is larger than it is.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.

Mike Joyce

A former editor of JazzTimes, Mike Joyce has written extensively on jazz, blues, country, and pop music for The Washington Post, Maryland and Washington, D.C. public television stations, and other outlets.