Will Matthews: Count On Swingin'


Count On Swingin'


Will Matthews (guitar)


Count On Swingin' (Artist Recording Collective ARC-2109)

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Will Matthews (guitar), Mel Rhyne (Hammond B3), Bobby Watson (alto sax), Kenny Phelps (drums).

Composed by Will Matthews


Recorded: Gary Mielke Studio, Indianapolis, Indiana, August 6-7, 2008


Rating: 92/100 (learn more)

In 1996 Will Matthews joined the Count Basie Orchestra, taking over the chair of the late Freddie Green, who had been Basie’s guitarist for decades. The unique role Greene played in the Basie band was more of a supportive musician, as he rarely soloed. But Matthews is an articulate soloist, sounding like a cross between George Benson and Mark Elf. His disciplined, staccato delivery comes at you full faced and unadorned, cutting through harmonic nuances to get to the flesh and bones of the changes. Scotch without the soda.

The operative word on this cut is tradition. Propelled along at a blistering pace by veteran organist Mel Rhyne, this satisfying quartet of Kansas City jazzmen make their money the old fashioned way — they swing it. In the tradition of Burrell and Montgomery, Matthews delivers a solid, straight-ahead performance on his D’Angelico. Rhyne, a seemingly immortal B3 icon, holds it all together while adding well-seasoned chops to the stew. A satisfying chorus from Blakely alumnus Bobby Watson brings the lively romp back to the head. For those who have become addicted to the guilty pleasure of a guitar/organ ensemble, this session is a welcome fix.

Reviewer: Bill Barnes

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