What a difference a year makes. I had the pleasure of sitting down with Matt Marshak while he was on tour last year and having a great conversation about music and a few other topics of interest. After his travels around the world, he strongly believes in the contemporary jazz genre and recognizes that fans from all demographics are always supportive. He, like some other artists, believes there is a new generation of jazz artists that are stirring the pot and creating what has yet to be seen. Matt is very excited about his 8th album titled “Lifestyle.” He’s a fan of the golden era of instrumental music and wanted to mirror that type of recording process. Marshak wanted to create music that was “timeless, intangibly honest, and that captured musical elements of live recording.” His inspiration was the appeal of the production process and the improvisation that allowed the flow of music to be natural. “Lifestyle,” the title track, opens the album up, immediately engaging the listener with its beautiful chord changes. The effortless flow of the songs on the album tell a believable story to the listener. Matt was fortunate to work with the very talented Gerald Veasley, Benjie Porecki, and drummer Carl Anderson on this album. In true Matt fashion, he delivers a soothing ballad at the end the album titled “I’ve Been Down.” In the words of Matt, “This is my vision. This is mybelief. This is my musical “Lifestyle.”
Matt and I enjoy catching up and talking about the evolution of “Lifestyle”:
Melvin Miller is a talented trumpet player with the ability to engage and entertain audiences in a style like no other. Having been influenced by legendary musicians such as Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, and Dizzy Gillespie, Miller has crafted his own sound. Being versatile is one attribute that makes Melvin so appealing. He can play everything from Jazz to R&B to Pop. His career in music is vast and worldwide. Melvin is the composer of the fanfare for The Trumpet Awards, has performed with the UniverSoul Circus, and has served as the musical director for Gloria Gaynor. It is no surprise that he has also shared the stage with dynamic artists such as Alex Bugnon, Eric Essix, James Brown, and Wynton Marsalis just to name a few. Residing in Atlanta has opened the door for Miller to become the fifth man of the group Five Men On A Stool–an experience he shares with fellow talented musicians. In the midst of all that he’s a part of, Melvin still creates great music. To his loving mother, he is the “young man with a horn.” And this title has followed him throughout his life. As a tribute to his mother, he wrote his latest album, “I Hope You Dance.” Each song has a distinct meaning and direct connection to his mother whom he lost a few years ago. Through the pain and with the help of friends and family, he masterfully created a musical gem. The album has an array of songs ranging from up-tempo, funky grooves to smooth heartfelt tunes. I haven’t experienced another album quite like it.
Melvin talks to me about his career and opens up about the making of “I Hope You Dance.”