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Matthew Ruddick

Author of Funny Valentine, an acclaimed new biography of the jazz trumpet player and singer, Chet Baker.
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Saturday, 27 May 2017 11:31

Matt Chandler - Astrometrics

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Feel good jazz for any occasion.

Astrometrics is one of seven releases in 2017 to date on 33 Jazz Records, which features some exciting talent. However Astrometrics is not to be confused with the Finnish band of the same name; this is definitely a complete different genre and may add confusion to the listener!

From the moment I cued the first track, Funk Works, I knew I had been given a gem of a album to review. The album is infused with jazz, blues and funk, and layered with diverse tempos, sub genres and time signatures. 

There are already many reviews hitting the web as we speak, all of which acknowledge Matt Chandler as one of the most innovative guitarists on the UK scene today. This is Matt's first release with Ross Stanley on Hammond and Eric Ford on drums; a band with all the coolness of a cold refreshing beer. 

Funk Works opens with a nice memorable hook, simple organ infills and is easy listening. If this was played live it would segue nicely into The Sting. The punchy intro sounds not too dissimilar to Dr. Lonnie Smith. It then dilutes from 'less is more', calm-serenity to a fusion of bop. Eric Ford has nicely polished drum skills which is demonstrated in his solo. Go Eric! 

El Diablo with Ross Stanley on Hammond uses low octaves and reproduces smooth bass with a triplet signature. This is very pleasing to the ears.  

For those of you feeling under the weather there is a doctor in the house, or rather Doctors In The House. This six minute bossa nova is a fine natural remedy that will get you up and shuffling anytime of the day.  

The trio bond well on Intricate Façade, that kicks off with a nice drum crescendo. The Hammond has a riff I can't quite put my finger on. Matt's performance across the frets is one of open dialogue with the listener. Hypnotic and meditative rhythms are in order.   

Scene Of No Scene is a great track with that classic guitar funk shuffle accompanied by the Hammond. This track follows a elementary musical structure which will have you humming along as if you already know it. This must be a nod to Wes Montgomery. Even the Hammond has a touch of Jimmy Smith. Jeeze!

If you are looking for a musical score for detective thriller this may be your track. 5 Bar Short is certainly not short of scenes as it meanders through the impressively forcible solo delivered by Matt.

One of strongest tracks on this well mastered album is Dirty Rat. Matt keeps the chorus simple and I imagine the trio playing with that smile you see in a jam session. Keep an ear out for the drum infills. As they say on The Fast Show's Jazz Club -  Nice!

Bringing the album to a down-tempo finale, A Change Of Scene may be the new outro track heard at the end of our favorite radio jazz shows.  

When you have finished listing to the final track Dirty Rat, cue Funk Works and start again...I did a number of times. 

My only criticism is that the feel of some tracks could have been thickened with string bass guitar. Notwithstanding, a job well done.


Listing: Funk Work, The Sting, El Diablo, Doctors in the House, Intricate Façade, Scene of No Scene, 5 Bar Short, Dirty Rat, A Change of Scene



Matt Chandler -  Guitar

Ross Stanley -  Hammond Organ

Eric Ford -  Drums 


Label: 33 Jazz Records


Read 2081 times Last modified on Monday, 25 September 2017 17:14

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