Guitarist and composer Matthew Stevens has released his second album as a bandleader, ‘Preverbal,’ March 24th on Ropeadope and in Canada on Crystal Math Music Group (Metric, Grimes). ‘Preverbal’ is a visceral statement, a kinetic exploration of harmony and rhythm driven by Stevens’ masterful playing and singular melding of elements of experimental, jazz and rock. The album blooms and disintegrates over 8 original songs that are immersive and muscular, dark and joyous. ‘Preverbal’ was recorded with Stevens’ core band of Eric Doob on drums and Vicente Archer bass, plus synthesizer and deft touches of sound manipulation and studio craft. It also features a soaring guest vocal appearance from Esperanza Spalding on album closer “Our Reunion.”
Stevens’ sophomore album as bandleader comes on the heels of a big 2016: He played an integral role in the recording and sound of Esperanza Spalding’s ‘Emily’s D+Evolution’ — one of the best albums of the year — and toured the globe as part of her power trio. He’s also collaborated extensively with Christian Scott, acting as his musical director, performing on all of his recordings and composing music. ‘Preverbal’ is the fully realized vision of this in-demand collaborator and band mate, the culmination of a decade spent lending an important voice to his many projects and as a bandleader.
A leading guitarist of his generation, Matthew Stevens is a “singular talent, brimming with a strong identity” (Downbeat), whose playing has been called “honest and soulful” (Pitchfork) and whose latest releasePREVERBALisdescribed as “music (that) advances the ideals of modern jazz”. (NPR)
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