Lewis Wright, Matt Brewer & Marcus Gilmore, The Colour of Intention Review
by: Ferell Aubre
Lewis Wright is a jazz vibraphonist and composer known for his unique sound and approach to the instrument. Wright’s awards include Ensemble of the Year in the 2016 Parliamentary Jazz Awards with ‘Empirical,’ the Worshipful Company of Musicians prize in 2011, and earning recognition in the DownBeat Critics Poll. He has performed at venues such as the Sydney Opera House, The Royal Albert Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Centre, and collaborated with artists as diverse as Tony Allen, Hugh Masekela, Michael Kiwanuka, Melody Gardot, and Julian Bliss. Wright is now releasing his album titled The Colour of Intention.Wright is joined by Matt Brewer on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums to present six original compositions.
“Mettle” is built around an ostinato figure introduced by Wright. Brewer’s bass keeps a galloping bass line as Gilmore’s drums swirl around the two. The ostinato sample repeats as Wright solos. His use of textures and harmonic colors are exciting, and he has a unique modern jazz approach to harmony and the vibraphone. The form has moments where Gilmore solos against a rhythmic figure as a transition back to Wright’s solo. Wright’s playing is continually active, and his technique on the vibraphone is fluid and effortless.
“Resolve” is an energetic selection with the trio all keeping the activity high. Gilmore’s drumming is filled with colors, and his interactions with Wright is musical. This is Wright’s most avid solo of the date, and even though it is very active, he still maintains a sense of melody and shape to his solo. Brewer’s solo stays in line with the theme and develops his ideas nicely. The many textures and layers of Wright’s composition and soloing are in top form on “Resolve.”
The Colour of Intention demonstrates Wright is at the top of the young generation of vibraphonist. Compared to his contemporaries’ latest projects, Wright exhibits more control, melodic development, compositional variance, and clarity, and overall, a more musical direction. This trio set lets his voice and vision clearly shine and should not be missed.