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New Album: Matt Richards, Power Trio Project



New Album- Matt Richards, Power Trio Project

Matt Richards returns to the electric guitar for Power Trio Project…

Guitarist Matt Richards released his latest album Power Trio Project on the Fingermusic label. Recorded in pre-pandemic 2020 with his working electric jazz trio of bass guitarist Tony Donato and drummer Paul Albrecht, it’s Richards’ first official group recording in ten years and is, according to the guitarist, the direct result of his “changing an obstacle into an opportunity”.

Power Trio Project is Richards’ seventh release and is entirely self-produced – he took on the tasks of recording and engineering the music himself.

“I wanted to further develop my production skills,” he explains, “to see what sort of results I could get before having it professionally produced. I recorded several rehearsals and the February concert, which was supposed to be a kickoff for a series of performances. But the pandemic happened, the dates were canceled and everything stopped.” Richards recalled advice from jazz legend Wayne Shorter about ‘changing an obstacle into an opportunity. “I realized I now had the time to methodically work on the production aspects of the album myself and get the results I wanted.”

While the sound of the Power Trio Project (PTP) may qualify it as a jazz-fusion group, Richards prefers calling the music ‘electric jazz’. “Our focus isn’t on musical intricacy and composition, which are often stylistic calling cards of jazz-fusion,” he explains. “We play original material and established jazz as well as PTP takes of classic popular music. We create new arrangements and we do improvise – after all, it’s jazz.” The PTP takes on this release include 60s’ pop hits Spinning Wheel and Sunshine Superman along with jazz staples Tin Tin Deo and Maiden Voyage. Richards includes the Larry Coryell tune Foreplay as an homage to his musical mentor and longtime friend. “Hearing Larry play this sparked my determination to be a guitarist,” he relates.

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