Matthew Shell is an old friend of The Static Dive. We journeyed with him through 2019 and 2020 as his Jazz supergroup The Groove Project progressively released their album “Volume 1: Flights of Fantasy,” dropping a new single each month for a year. A diverse and talented musician, composer, arranger and producer, Shell has also appeared on these pages in connection with numerous other projects over the past two years. In 2020 he released his solo album “Towards New Beginnings.”
On March 1, 2021 Matthew Shell will deliver his follow-up, “Towards New Beginnings II: Songs of Healing (feat. Vahagn Stepanyan & Sami Turunen).” After the events of the past 12 months, the world looks with both sorrow and hope toward the future. Shell’s new album is a Jazz instrumental representation of that juxtaposition of pain and purpose, loss and longing.
“Tribute (feat. Josue Garcia Garcia)” is the third single from the album. The piece was written and recorded as a tribute to all who we have lost during the pandemic. The song captures the deep blues at the heart of 2021 with a simple arrangement of piano and bass (both by Vahagn Stepanyan), guitar (Sami Turunen) trumpet (Josue Garcia Garcia) and some light percussion (Glenn Welman).
Through most of the 3:10 piece we find Stepanyan and Turunen performing a beautiful and melancholy duet. Sami matches Vahagn’s wistful melodies with a slow and soulful Blues. The two trade phrases as though they’re telling stories about the friends and family they have lost. Garcia’s trumpet offers solace in the bridge with just the right amount of economy and soul. We can feel the resonance of the instruments in the warm and organic recording. Matthew Shell produced and arranged the track with co-production by Arun Shenoy, mixing by Evan Sebenick and mastering by Steven Vagovics.
Although “Towards New Beginnings II: Songs of Healing (feat. Vahagn Stepanyan & Sami Turunen)” will not be available until March 1, readers of The Static Dive get an exclusive preview. Listen to the album below, and follow the links below the video to connect with Matthew Shell. Get in the loop on all of the current and future projects from this dynamic and multi-talented artist.