Matthew Shell is a name with which regular readers of The Static Dive have become well acquainted. The multi-talented composer and producer has appeared on these pages regularly for his solo work, his Smooth Jazz band The Groove Project as well as a handful of collaborations. Amidst all of that activity, Shell has somehow found the time to complete a brand new full album of original instrumental music.
“Towards New Beginnings” is a ten song collection of the artist’s unique brand of mellow Jazz. Throughout the record Matt recruits some of his Groove Project cohorts to lend their talents. The album dropped on 8/1/2020, as did the video below of the musicians recording the title track. The song is beautifully chilled Jazz-hued New Age music perfect for a quiet study session or as accompaniment to a romantic dinner.
The song opens with the stylish nylon-stringed Spanish guitar of Sami Turunen. Soon, the soothing acoustic intro gives way to an ensemble featuring Vahagn Stepanyan on piano, Glenn Welman on percussion, Yoed Nir on cello and lead soloist Douglas Lira. Through the first half of the track Lira performs a lovely tranquil melody on the flute. He then switches to saxophone with the same impressive technical ability and tasteful ease of style. Turunen returns for the outro of the song, this time performing a soulful smooth Jazz electric guitar solo.
Although this album was arranged before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, its themes of perseverance in the face of adversity, and the need to take a moment to breathe, make it all the more timely.Matthew Shell
Check out the video for “Toward New Beginnings,” and listen to the song on the Deep Indie Chill playlist. Follow the links below to connect with Matthew Shell. Stay in the loop on all of his many current and future musical projects.