At the risk of hyperbole, there are few sounds in music as utterly singular as that of Mat Maneri, an improvising violinist, violist, and bandleader whose umber tone, vocalized lines, and melancholy expression are instantly recognizable. Having come to widespread attention during the early ’90s in a quartet led by the trailblazing saxophonist and composer Joe Maneri, his father, Maneri has lent his distinctive sound to sessions led by Matthew Shipp, Joe Morris, Paul Motian, Kris Davis, Gerald Cleaver, and other prominent leaders. In 1999 he partnered with the iconic pianist Cecil Taylor for a memorable concert at the Library of Congress, documented on Algonquin.
Maneri also emerged quickly as a compelling leader himself, documenting his work with a long string of compelling records: some under his own name; others collaboratively billed. His newest album, Dust, extends a fruitful recent collaboration with the Romanian-American pianist Lucian Ban, and reunites him with drummer Randy Peterson, a bandmate in Joe Maneri’s signature quartet; bassist John Hébert completes the quartet.
Dust arrives next Friday, Nov. 15, on Sunnyside Records. But thanks to Maneri and the label, National Sawdust Log is pleased and privileged to share an exclusive preview track, “51 Sorrows”—right here, right now.
Asked to describe his composition, Maneri offered the following thoughts via e-mail:
“’51 Sorrows’ was based on a poem that loosely described the additive years of pain equaling the joy it can yield. I tried to write a melody that encapsulated this dichotomy, yet still resulted in a victory through sorrow. It was originally a melody with a counter melodic bass line that hinted at multiple harmonic tracks, which Lucian realized beautifully.”
If you want to hear more from Dust, make your way to Sunnyside’s Bandcamp page, where the album’s opening track, “Mojave,” is streaming in full. While you’re there, take a moment to check out the other fine recordings due in November on Sunnyside. Utica Box, by Dan Weiss Trio Plus 1, and Paramus, by Chano Domniguez and Hadar Noiberg, arrive this Friday, Nov. 8. Joy, by Jay Leonhart, turns up next week with Dust. And Old Songs New, by the Lee Konitz Nonet, is due on Nov. 22.