Beyond Good & Evil
Trombonist/composer/arranger Haviland delivers original music full of unexpected twists, but always with straight-ahead rhythmic drive and a great feel. Two standards, the languorous "But Beautiful" and propulsive "Bolivia", round out the set. Creative use of instrumentation leads to passages for quintet, quartet, trio, and sextet, with brief interludes of solo piano and solo bass. A rare treat is Herring's tenor sax on several tracks, along with his always-burning alto. Personnel: Matt Haviland - trombone Vincent Herring - alto & tenor sax Benny Green - piano Ugonna Okegwo - bass Gene Jackson - drums Scott Wendholt - trumpet (tracks 6 & 10) More on Matt Haviland: 'Controlled passion.' Those words were used by W. Royal Stokes of Jazz Times to describe the instrumental style of jazz trombonist Matt Haviland, known for his vibrant tone and adventurous melodic improvisations. Since arriving in New York in 1983, Matt has been in demand as a performer and featured soloist with some of the top groups in jazz, including the Illinois Jacquet Big Band, the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Maria Schneider, Mingus Big Band, Slide Hampton's World of Trombones, and Steven Bernstein's MTO. Other credits include a broad range of freelance work: Deodato, Blood Sweat & Tears, Manny Oquendo & Libre, and Broadway (Swing, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Color Purple). Haviland also has a solid reputation as a gifted composer and arranger. His writing can be heard on recordings by the Harper Brothers, Charli Persip, Diane Moser's Composers Big Band, and his debut recording Beyond Good & Evil (Connotation Records). He has been awarded an NEA composition grant, participated in the BMI Jazz Composers Workshop under Bob Brookmeyer, composed an extended work for big band plus chamber orchestra, and written charts for the Illinois Jacquet Big Band, saxophonist Vincent Herring, the Westchester Jazz Orchestra, and a range of other projects. Matt continues to grow as a player and writer, while exploring a means for personal expression: 'Musicality is my operating principle,' Haviland states. 'While technique is important in both playing and writing, ultimately I want the melodies, improvisations, and interaction to carry the day. Two of my favorite players, J.J. and Teagarden, are great role models for accomplishing that on trombone. Each stands out just as much for his completely musical ideas as for the near-perfect execution of his concept. That kind of achievement really inspires me.'