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Matt Davis' Aerial Photograph | Before The Stars Burn Out, with featured guests Diane Monroe & Ben Schachter

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Classical: Contemporary Classical: String Quartet Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Before The Stars Burn Out, with featured guests Diane Monroe & Ben Schachter

by Matt Davis' Aerial Photograph

A modern classical indy rock big band. A guitar focused jazz trio, a string quartet and varied wind instruments playing creative music influenced by classical music, jazz, rock and everything in between.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Market
matt davis' aerial photograph
2:34 $0.99
2. Timing Out
matt davis' aerial photograph
6:20 $0.99
3. These Are Whispers
matt davis' aerial photograph
7:20 $0.99
4. Song For Kate
matt davis' aerial photograph
8:26 $0.99
5. Evolution
matt davis' aerial photograph
8:16 $0.99
6. Autumn
matt davis' aerial photograph
0:52 $0.99
7. Benediction
matt davis' aerial photograph
3:20 $0.99
8. It's Later Than You Think
matt davis' aerial photograph
10:24 $0.99
9. When We All Find Our Home
matt davis' aerial photograph
2:44 $0.99
10. Struggle
matt davis' aerial photograph
8:56 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Guitarist, composer, Matt Davis formed Aerial Photograph in 2001. Since then, the group has recorded two albums, received grants and Artist In Residencies, performed at Universities and distinguished venues such as The Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, and received many wonderful reviews. The ensemble’s unique instrumentation of two violins, viola, cello, clarinet, soprano and tenor saxophone, flugelhorn, trombone, guitar, found sounds, bass, & drums provide a distinctive voice to Matt’s music. It’s sound is inspired by the emotion of composers such as Ravel and Debussy, coupled with the spontaneity of Jazz.

In addition to Aerial Photograph, Matt has performed with musicians such as Odean Pope, Dave Burrell, Bobby Zankel (of the Cecil Taylor big band), saxophonist Billy Harper, The Jefferson University Chorus and Orchestra, Calvin Weston (member of Ornette Coleman’s Prime Time) members of Sun Ra (Tyrone Hill, Marshall Allen, Elliott Levin), Terell Stafford, and Dave Liebman. He has received grants from the American Composers Forum and has been awarded an Artist in Residence position at the C.E.C. art center in Philly. Matt has presented guitar/ composition master classes at the University of the Arts, as well as high schools and grade schools throughout the Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York area. He recently completed an Artist In Residencency for the National Parks Service from Buffalo National River Park in Arkansas for the month of September, 2005. Matt currently teaches guitar at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.



to write a review

Jim Stagnitto

Terrific flight. Refreshingly new and uncluttered writing. Earth and Sky.
Well, I believe that Matt Davis and Aerial Photograph are on to something quite interesting here.

The music on this thoughtful CD seems to invite contemplation about the artificial barriers that we adopt or create to compartmentalize music – in our unwitting quest to understand, market, divide and conquer. Davis’ compositions simultaneously evoke - for me - reminiscences of good writing by some of my favorite minimalists (Steve Reich, John Adams), the open-sky Americana flights of Copeland (perhaps as reverse-engineered by Bill Frissell), and the free-blowing jazz-meets-string quartet works of contemporary luminaries (Max Roach, Kronos, etc.).

But, these reminiscences aside, this is refreshingly new and uncluttered writing. Amazingly, the ensemble brings these feeling together, along with the simple and pure joy of a free-blowing jazz experience, in a series of works that are elegant, thought-provoking, uplifting, humble and earthy. The feeling of weightlessness that it inspires is amplified by the ensemble’s lovely collective interplay, by the clean symmetry of the compositional architecture, by refreshingly natural recording canvas, and by capable and warm soloist excursions.

Congratulations Matt Davis and Aerial Photograph for a truly inspiring release. Bravo.

Cassendre Xavier

makes me think real hard...
dreamy, eclectic, thinkie music. makes me use my brain, but not in a way that hurts too bad. yay for Matt!

Jimmy Mac of The Compendium

don't be surprised to find this at the top of my year end list
This is a genre-bending endeavor from guitarist Matt Davis and his ensemble. "The Market" starts the album off with inflating and deflating runs of Spanish mode and is followed by the incessant count of "Timing Out", with its repeated horn phrases and violin lines. On "These Are Whispers", Mr. Davis' guitar appears like a searchlight casting out from fog of horns and drums finally making an appearance on this album about four and a half minutes into the track. "Evolution" chooses to trace itself around the guitar, building a theme one instrument at a time. This is placed at the center of the album, making it the masterpiece. Matt Davis' best playing is featured here also. After a short interlude, "Autumn", I got very into Benediction. It is the most accessible track on this album, clocking in at 3:20. As the album winds itself down, a guitar/ bass/ clarinet/ string quartet tune, "When We All Find Our Home" dies out a little prematurely. It fades into "Struggle", which is another excellent example of the themes Mr. Davis is trying to express on his album. This album is wonderful and one that plays well in the wee hours of the morning. Don't be surprised to find this at the top of my year end list.

Cadence Magazine

nuance and texture
Matt Davis' Aerial Photograph starts out this typically diverse group of recordings. On 'Before the Stars Burn Out' (Vandolah Sounds 2264), the leader is responsible for guitar, programming, and piano sounding board. His guests on these tracks include a wide array of instrumentalists (Carlos Santaigo, vln; Diana Brown, vln; Meg Kajino, vln; Diane Monroe, vln; George Burton, vla; Matt Roberts, cel; Amy Christmas, cl; Jason O'Mara, flt; Bart Miltenberger, flgh; Jon Thompson, ts & ss; Brent White, tbn; Mike Taylor, b; Brian Weostehoff, ts; Wayne Smith, dr; Ben Schachter, ts) who provide nuance, texture, and the occasional hot solo to this heavily electronic music. There are lots of found sounds and recordings, but just as often one hears Davis' acoustic (sounding like mid 70's Towner in places) set against electronic backdrops as well as against moving blocks of chords from layered saxophones. On tunes like "These Are Whispers" or the melancholy "Song For Kate", there are simple lilting lines with often very thoughtful arrangements, sounding almost like pop extractions of Frisell's mid-90's quartet. The laconic feel is often attractive, with good contributions from Schacter, Thompson, Miltenberger, and others. Sometimes the tender arpeggiating gets a bit repetitive, but there's usually some chewy string section just around the corner. For fans of neo-Americana and similar strains of improvisation.

The Philadelphia CityPaper

effortless grace
"Whatever you do, don't get caught up in the argument over whether to call it jazz; genre is a limiting concept, after all, and useful only for record store clerks. Guitarist Matt Davis' lovely new independently released CD floats between categories with effortless grace. Attempts at fusing styles often end more in collision than fusion, but there is no tension, no clash in Davis' combination of string quartet with jazz musicians. The Metheny-ish chamber jazz of "These Are Whispers," which serves as a foundation for a limber and inventive Davis solo, suddenly becomes a slow blues shuffle for Jon Thompson's wistful soprano. "Song for Kate" kicks off as Appalachian bop before granting the strings some space for a solo dance, and finally halting for Thompson and Davis to flit around each other like butterflies. The keyword here is interaction, and the seemingly incongruous parts soon dissolve into a succession of fragile moments."