Matt Marshak – Lifestyle (2014)

Matt Marshak - Lifestyle (2014)
Artist: Matt Marshak
Album: Lifestyle
Genre: Smooth Jazz/Guitar
Origin: USA
Released: 2014
Quality: mp3, 320 kbps

Tracklist:
01. Lifestyle 06:34
02. Dreamin’ In Dubai 07:33
03. Last Exit 06:21
04. Jumpin’ 04:26
05. Mandela 05:49
06. One Happy Guy 05:25
07. Midtown 05:47
08. Hats And Sneakers 04:47
09. I’ve Been Down 04:53

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Along with some smart tunes, it must be noted here that guitarist Matt Marshak is one of those upfront and open musicians who has no problem letting one inside his world and behind the scenes of his music-making. In addition to that being especially refreshing to musicians, it should endear fans and those new to his music to his level of transparency. I say all of that to point out that, on his latest project Lifestyle, he makes it abundantly clear in the CD jacket that “This album is 100% live, with absolutely no use of drum loops, programing, quantizing…” He goes on to clearly elaborate on the gear he used to create certain sounds and tones.

To those just interested in the groove, you may or may not be interested in the technical aspects of the album, but you have to appreciate that he has thrown open the doors of the process to invite you the listener in to experience the entire experience. My hat’s off to him in a big way. Along with his openness, his “no frills or gimmicks” approach greatly appeals to me.

Now, about that groove. Not unlike his previous 7 releases, Marshak grasps the essence of cool and smooth guitar and milks it for every drop. The album includes that identifiable slick mid-tempo vibe (e.g., the lead and title track and “Last Exit”), the lively up-tempo vibe with the catchy hook like that found on “Dreamin’ in Dubai,” some of that good ol’ James Brown-style soul thrown in on “Jumpin’,” some solid World flavor as found on “Mandela,” obviously, his tribute to the late and wonderful anti-apartheid soldier of peace and humanitarianism, some snappy Nick Colionne-style guitar work on “Midtown,” a stinging potpourri of blues, soul, and jazz found on “Hats and Sneakers.”

Marshak’s polished action and cool production are always easy to get your head and soul around, and Lifestyle makes that effort as easy as ever. — Ronald Jackson

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