10 Seconds: Matt Gedrych
1. Weather Report - Black Market (3'41" - 3'51")
From Weather Report - 8:30 (1979)
"Weather Report holds a special place in my heart as it has influenced so much of the music I make, but not so much musically as aesthetically, and the intent of that group. It was the first time that jazz was introduced to big arena stages and drew influences from current popular music such as disco and rock. This live album shows what it was must have been like to be at a show of theirs, an experience that I’ll never truly know. You can hear the fire under their feet as they played their jazz fusion epics to a crowd of several thousand people. I actually love these particular 10 seconds as you can hear the roar of the crowd as Wayne Shorter steps on stage for when they go into the B section of the tune, naturally a good 15 bpm faster than the studio version."
2. Karim Ziad - Jdid (1'52" - 2'02")
From Karim Ziad - Jdid (2013)
"Ever since this album was introduced to me, I’ve always gone back to it over the years. The way that Ziad fuses his Algerian musical roots with jazz has always fascinated me. The deep meditative groove of the Gnawa tradition is ever present throughout the music and matched perfectly with the virtuosic jazz arrangements that it is intertwined with. Not only is Ziad an unbelievable drummer and composer, but this track really highlights his beautiful singing voice. I chose these particular 10 seconds because they demonstrate Ziad’s compositional style and the melding of the two cultures he is a part of. "
3. Mahavishnu Orchestra - Meeting of the Spirits (0'54" - 1'04")
From Mahavishnu Orchestra - The Inner Mounting Flame (1971)
“When I first heard Mahavishnu Orchestra, it rocked my teenage world. Having only really heard jazz from the 50s and 60s at this point, I was still yet finding where my taste lay in that world. The distorted guitar of John McLaughlin and ferocious drumming of Billy Cobham showed me that the jazz world was far greater than I could’ve imagined, and that my early love of rock music was easily reimagined through the frame of jazz music. This track really highlights Mahavishnu Orchestra’s forward-thinking compositions, with a dense and crunchy harmony accompanied by heavy drums and strong melodies (being played on violin and bass guitar!)."
4. Munir Hossn - Diaba Sambou (0'35" - 0'45")
From Munir Hossn - INdiGenaJazz (2011)
"Munir Hossn is a huge inspiration for me as a bass player and composer. This track demonstrates his wild technique on the bass, as well as his beautiful compositional style. Hossn is another great fusion artist who mixes his Brazilian heritage with that of modern fusion styles akin to Joe Zawinul’s Syndicate, a group Hossn played in himself. I especially love the arrangement on this track, the layers of vocal harmonies amidst layers of drums and percussion evoke the soul of Brazilian music which is all built upon a foundation of Hossn’s immense bass part which, as well as being the bass line, acts as one of the main melodic components of this song."
5. Brian Blade Fellowship - Evinrude-Fifty (1'25" - 1'35")
From Brian Blade Fellowship - Perceptual (2000)
"The music that came out of Brian Blade’s Fellowship band has probably had the greatest impact on my style of composition and arrangement. Whilst the sound of the band is a classic acoustic jazz setup (tenor sax, alto sax, piano, double bass & drums), the music is almost reminiscent of folk music. The Fellowship’s music is defined by its strong yet simple melodies and the band is made up of some of the best melodic instrumentalists I can think of, Blade often sounds like a piano or horn player in the way he floats in and out of the music, whilst always giving strong support from behind. The music has a very spiritual and uplifting nature to it, and these particular 10 seconds always bring me strong emotions of joy and happiness. Kurt Rosenwinkel also guests on guitar on this album which adds another dynamic layer to the arrangements."
6. Flying Lotus -Do The Astral Plane (3'44" - 3'54")
From Flying Lotus - Cosmogramma (2010)
"Speaking of arrangements, Flying Lotus’ works are an impeccable example of this. Through this song you can hear different samples woven into a dense texture of instruments, all whilst being a fairly straightforward house beat that features a J-Dilla inspired skipping hi-hat. You can hear this almost 1920s-esque string section playing throughout the tune giving it such a unique and distinctive texture, and when the tune develops more, the strings become the central melodic focus of the piece. The tune is akin to a modern jazz piece, even featuring a trumpet solo at the end, but Flying Lotus’ sound is embedded deeply in the electronic world and the elements of sound design are incredible, leaning into a sound that can only be achieved electronically. This was one of the first pieces of electronic music that really caught my attention as a teenager, and the way the drums and percussion drop during the first 3 seconds of this clip actually spun my world around!"
7. Bill Evans - Gloria's Step (Take 2) (0'08" - 0'18")
From Bill Evans - Live at The Village Vanguard (1961)
"Bill Evans’ first trio was not only a lesson in improvisation for me, but also for the rest of the jazz world. Up until this point, instrumentalists in the jazz idiom would stick to their roles – the bass would walk crotchets, the drums would play the standard jazz ride pattern with accents on the hi-hat on beats 2 and 4, the piano would accompany the melody with chords and the horn or singer would play the melody and solo. This trio, with the great Scott LaFaro on bass and Paul Motian on drums, challenged the realms of those roles and you can already hear it in the first 10 seconds on the song! Whilst this group didn’t have a horn or singer, you can hear the piano and bass complement each other by taking the melodic and harmonic-support role at the same time. The way they wove in and out of each other is incredible, and had a huge impact on me in redefining the role of a bass player. Equally Paul Motian’s sense of drumming was incredibly melodic, playing around the melodies as much as supporting it."
8. Azymuth - Neptunians (3'43" - 3'53")
From Azymuth - Fenix (2016)
"I’ll finish with a tune by the great Jazz-Fusion trio, Azymuth. Azymuth have an intimidating collection of releases, many of which I love, but this one comes from one of the last releases by the group. I think this tune really encapsulates the sound of Azymuth as a forward-thinking jazz group with its unique blend of Brazilian rhythm nestled amongst the Jazz-Funk arrangement. Ivan Conti’s signature drum feel, laid-back but driving, feels on one hand reminiscent of late funk music and on the other evokes a traditional samba feel, dragging the rhythms in all the right places. The bass follows this Brazilian fusion pattern as well, whilst the modern sound of synths and Rhodes floats a top all of it. I love these ten seconds as we get to hear Conti’s fill into this mish-mash groove of Brazilian and Funk flavours. Another beautiful blend of cultures that has often has acted as an inspiration crutch for me."