July 19, 2024

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CD review: Matthew Alec and The Soul Electric – Live at the Bop Stop! – 2023: Video, CD cover

Fresh off the release of their debut album Cleveland Time which made the national college radio charts and was featured in several international publications, Cleveland’s high-energy jazz fusion act Matthew Alec and The Soul Electric is teaming up with the legendary trombonist and multi-instrumentalist Tom “Bones” Malone (who was featured on their album) for one night only!

You know, it’s really not a perfect record overall. I chose the Blues Brothers material and some of the more classic soul jazz tunes specifically for Tom Malone knowing we wouldn’t have much, if any time to rehearse with him once he arrived in Cleveland. We only had a couple of rehearsals as an ensemble with the material and then we had a few short run throughs at the club with Tom a couple of hours before the gig. That was pretty much it. That said, it’s a really fun record. The grooves feel good and the solos are really dynamic with a lot of energy across the board. Admittedly, I think the horns could have been tighter, but again, no rehearsal time. It was a lot of fun and a true honor to play with a legend like Tom. It was definitely one of the bright spots of my career thus far. I also think that the horn section of Tom, Tim Coyne, and myself would be an absolutely smoking horn section if we had some more time to gel together. I think my favorite cuts off of this album are “The Chicken,” “Butterfat,” and “Soul Man.” Those all came together really nicely. Interestingly enough, I was blown away to find out that Tom was the original trombonist on the 1975 version of “Butterfat!” It was off David Sanborn’s very first album Taking Off. The Brecker Brothers filled out the horn section on the original recording. I’ve got a ton in store right now including a series of singles from Cleveland Time Records due out this year. The first of which is an absolutely breathtaking version of the standard “My Funny Valentine” from my frequent pianist collaborator Brian Woods. He sings and plays piano on it. I do take a sax solo on the cut and I produced the tune. Later this year we’ll be heading back into the studio for the second studio album which is tentatively titled Cleveland Vice. I’ve got a nice cast of cats that I use regularly. I consider The Soul Electric group to be a sort of collective of musicians that I pull from depending on what the project or performance calls for and their individual availability. I think I definitely had the right cast of guys for this release. They did a great job bringing the music to life. Tom Malone had some very nice things to say about the band after the performance,- an interview with me said Matthew Alec.

Matthew Alec is a jazz and popular music saxophonist, founder and Executive Producer at Cleveland Time Records, and bandleader for the high-energy jazz fusion group Matthew Alec and The Soul Electric. Performing for over 20 years and holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Music from Kent State University, he has toured nationally and has opened for a number of A-list acts including Earth, Wind, and Fire, Incubus, Robert Randolph and The Family Band, Keane, Average White Band, Lupe Fiasco, OAR, and others. He has been fortunate enough to perform with Victor Wooten, Roy ‘Futureman’ Wooten, Steve Turre, Billy Beck, and he has recorded with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bernie Worrell and former Saturday Night Live Musical Director, CBS Orchestra member, and Blues Brothers bandsman Tom “Bones” Malone. His debut album as a leader “Cleveland Time” (which features Malone) was released in 2021 and charted for several weeks on the NACC Jazz Radio Chart, peaking at #13, and received international press from Jazziz Magazine, All About Jazz, JazzMonthly.com, SoulTracks.com, Broadway World, WBSS Media, Glide Magazine, Cleveland.com, and many others. Matthew is proudly sponsored by Remic Microphones (Denmark).

1 Horizontal Speculation 01:34
2 Mercy, Mercy, Mercy 11:31
3 The Chicken 06:21
4 Sweet Home Chicago 09:07
5 Butterfat 05:08
6 Soul Man 03:20
7 Comin’ Home Baby 05:13
8 Groove Me 03:55

Tom “Bones” Malone – Trombone
Matthew Alec – Tenor saxophone
Corey Conway Music – Guitar
Steven Forrest Sanders – Guitar
Jared Lees Bass – Bass
Brian Woods – Piano
Marvin Burke – Organ
Brian Randall – Percussion
Jeremiah “The Franchise” Hawkins – Drums

Buy from here – New CD 2023

Live at the Bop Stop! - JAZZIZ Magazine

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