THE WHOLE PACKAGE! (2023)
Available now! Released June 16, 2023
Matt Savage – piano (all tracks except #3), electric piano (tracks 3, 4, 6, 10)
Mark Zaleski – alto saxophone (tracks 1-2, 4-10), soprano saxophone (tracks 3, 11)
Greg Loughman – bass
Zak King – drums
The Whole Package! is jazz pianist/composer Matt Savage’s most ambitious project yet, and the culmination of the difficult pandemic years. It’s a companion album to The Groove Reawakens by the Matt Savage Groove Experiment, but it’s also Savage’s first acoustic “straight-ahead” jazz CD since 2016.
There are eight original jazz tracks and three cover songs included on The Whole Package! “The Savage Life Chose Me” is the opener, starting with a drum solo by Zak King and quickly building to an extremely fast bebop head. Matt Savage takes over with a dramatic and virtuosic piano solo, albeit one that also shows melodic restraint and the influence of past generations of pianists. Mark Zaleski adds saxophone fuel to the fire, with a long solo that culminates in one very intense held note.
Many of the other tunes on this record hold a deep personal connection to the band. “Pondside Waltz” features bassist Greg Loughman and was inspired by a walk around Jamaica Pond in Boston, while “The Next Dancer” was written in honor of the birth of Mark Zaleski’s first child.
There are also three standards, from vastly different decades – “You Must Believe in Spring” (1967), “I Know That You Know” (1926), and a version of Nirvana’s 1989 hit “About a Girl” that features an extended piano cadenza.
Intensely improvisational, yet with more sense of weight and maturity than on previous combo records, Matt Savage’s The Whole Package! is packed with surprises throughout.
Recorded at Wellspring Sound, Acton, MA, from May 25-27, 2022
Executive Producer: Matt Savage
Recording Engineer: Joshua Lu, Wellspring Sound
Mixing and Mastering: Jonathan Wyner, M Works Mastering Studios
Artwork and Graphic Design: Jessica Kion
Photography: Joe Musacchia