The Matt Savage Trio
(Savage Records – 2006)
by Raymond Redmond
Matt Savage is a 14 year old prodigy who has overcome autism to become one of the youngest jazz veterans ever. Whether it’s the staid and straightforward “Dreamin of You”, the flowing “Free and Easy” or the personable “Couch Potato Blues”, one listen to his new CD will convince you; this kid is truly gifted.
At age 8 Matt played piano for Dave Brubeck and jammed at a sound session with Chick Corea and his sidemen, Avishai Cohen and Jeff Ballard. The following year he was invited to a soundcheck to jam with jazz great McCoy Tyner and his sidemen, Avery Sharpe and Al Foster. At age 11 Matt debuted at the famed Blue Note in Manhattan. The following year he debuted at Birdland, performing with the legendary Clark Terry on trumpet, Jimmy Heath on sax, Jon Faddis on trumpet, Marcus McLaurine on bass and Kenny Washington on drums. By 2005, Matt had performed twice with Chaka Khan.
News of Matt Savage’s talent rapidly spread throughout the jazz community. As jazz great Bobby Watson said, “Besides being an extremely gifted pianist and improviser, Matt has the musical instincts of a person many years older. To me this is the most incredible characteristic about Matt.” True to that statement, Matt hasn’t been just jammin’ with the greats for the past six years. He’s been using those instincts to amass an impressive body of original work that has gained the respect of his peers and fans alike.
Quantum Leap features Matt on piano with his adult sidemen, John Funkhouser on bass and Steve Silverstein on drums. “What I love about jazz,” says Matt, “is that you can break all the rules and be free.” Matt has taken that freedom to new heights on Quantum Leap, showcasing versatile techniques on such original compositions as “Curacao,” “Blues in 33/8” and “Serenity.” He has also featured several standards on the new album, including “All the Things You Are” (Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II), “Monk’s Dream” (Thelonious Monk) and “A Child is Born” (Thad Jones), all delivered in Savage’s unique interpretive style. Quantum Leap is the fifth release from The Matt Savage Trio.