Last Call Review: Metalwood/Twenty/Cellar Live Records

Sep 10, 2016

Returning to the studio after a 14-year hiatus, Metalwood has released an impressive new recording of outstanding electric jazz sounds. And this is not surprising. Metalwood is one of the foremost Canadian  electric jazz bands. They hit the scene in 1997.

With Mike Murley on saxophones; Brad Turner on piano, triton( a percussion instrument that can be held in one's lap) and trumpet; Chris Tarry on electric bass and Ian Froman on drums, the quartet has a lot to offer the listener. And it is very rich music indeed, created by a band with a reputation for musical excellence. Metalwood has won the Canadian Juno award two times for their music.

Highlights include "Solidarite" which sounds like a Weather Report gem from back in the day, and has that groove to be sure. It is a thrill to hear Murley's saxophone float above the groove that Turner is creating on the keyboards, reminding the listener of the beautiful artistry that Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul created in Weather Report.

Similarities aside, Metalwood are their own band, following their creative muse. Other selections to enjoy include "Bodybeard", a jazz-funk anthem that demonstrates Metalwood at their best. This band is tight!  Metalwood has the group musical identity that makes all of the difference. They have released 6 albums and toured widely in Canada, the United States, and Europe.

Lush, atmospheric pieces such as "Fortune Smiles" and "Rooftops" provide opportunities for Murley's saxophone and Turner's trumpet to create rich, enchanting passages of beauty.   Edgier pieces like "Clutch" and "Extra Salty" feature more work from band members Chris Tarry on bass and Ian Froman on drums.

Metalwood closes out the recording with the explosive "Push", a piece that recalls the unpredictable intensity of the Miles Davis Quintet of 1969, but with Metalwood's distinct personality pushing the music forward.

Highly recommended listening. For more information, you may visit: