The Other Side of the Story is drummer Matt Kane’s third release as a leader, but the first to showcase his talent as a composer.
Kane was born and raised in Hannibal, Mo., and since moving to the New York/New Jersey area in 1997, has established himself as a highly accomplished drummer as well as a skillful and effective educator. From the first track here, you know you’re in for a tuneful, upbeat experience.
“Eureka Springs”— inspired, Kane says, by “a little village nestled in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas,” is “actually the first jazz song I ever wrote.” He also plays guitar, and you can hear the influence of Pat Metheny on several tunes, including “Ozark Flight,” which feels like fresh air.
Toninho Horta is another one of Kane’s favorite guitarists, and his solo piece, “Vista,” was inspired by Horta’s chord voicings. “Hannibalian” reflects Kane’s idyllic Missouri childhood. It’s a lively tune that evokes images of kids growing up along the Mississippi River, fishing and playing in cornfields.
“The Distance” was composed in New York City in the aftermath of 9/11. Kane thanks his mentor and producer, drummer Michael Carvin, for an arrangement which helped to convey the meaning of the composition. He also credits Carvin for his assistance in conceiving this album, and for adding an intensity to the project.
Kane chose the great guitarist Vic Juris to help translate his musical vision: “Vic’s experience and sensibilities were perfect for my music, especially since I wrote most of it on guitar.” Kane also surrounded himself with some old friends, including vibraphonist Peter Schlamb, whom he met during his days in Kansas City; pianist Klaus Mueller, a fellow New School alumnus; and bassist Mark Peterson, a fellow Missourian.
With his new release, Kane wants to present the other side of his story as not just a band leader, but as a composer of his own music, reflecting his personal experiences and growth as an artist. He says: “Out there in the Midwest, people will hold the door for you. I want to hold the door open musically for my audiences and let them in.”
That’s exactly what he has done. The Other Side of the Story has a big welcome sign on it. Matt Kane reveals the other side of his story, but he’s nowhere near the end of his tale. There are many more chapters to come, including performances Nov. 8 at The Fox and Crow in Jersey City, N.J., and Nov. 16 at The Old Franklin Schoolhouse in Metuchen, N.J.