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Spellbound
  • Artist: Ecstasy in Numbers
  • Label: CD Baby
  • UPC: 600767980128
  • Item #: CDBY798012
  • Genre: Jazz
  • Release Date: 3/5/2002
  • Rank: 1000000000
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List Price: $18.98
Price: $16.94
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Description

Spellbound on CD

Ecstasy In Numbers writes and performs unique music, period. Their sound is modern...combining hints of jazz, r&b, funk, reggae, latin, rock and world beat music...an art form who's full potential expands as you will it. Many of their melodies play back in your head with interlocking guitar, bass and drum riffs with mood inducing harmonies making sophisticated ideas instantly accessible. Their recordings and performances utilize the power of imaginative improvisation to create dramatically experiential environments. To hear Ecstasy In Numbers you will encounter ORIGINAL music...new, fresh, spontaneous, improvisational, adventurous...simply put, not background music. Ecstasy In Numbers Reviews 'There is a lesson to be learned by listening to the solid and dynamic performances of this instrumental electric fusion trio. 'Ears' is the key word here. Each player listens to and compliments the others in a tasteful and respectful manner. The arrangements sound tightly worked out, but not stiff and predictable. And the tones of each instrument are evenly matched and well-mixed for a rich and full sound. Garey Williams displays a beautiful touch and emotion in his drumming. He performs with a strong technique and a keen sense of what to play in a studio situation to achieve the correct balance within a jazz/rock trio setting. His drums sound fat, wet, and well recorded. His cymbal work is very expressive, and the mix allows his drums to explode with power and intensity when necessary. The compositions move in and out of various grooves in an interesting and playful manner, but never lose their solid feel. Although each player possesses noteworthy chops, the listening experience is not drawn so much toward their improvisational talents as it is toward the musical interaction within the material's arrangements. There is not a standout track on the disc; they are all outstanding.' -Modern Drummer 'It takes about ten seconds...to realize this is a skilled triumvirate. For those lovers of multi-part jazz- rock excursions, Ecstasy in Numbers is worth a spin. Many of the melodies are syncopated flurries, with mood inducing harmonies and sharply defined sections of the tunes. This is no clone band, though, as many of the ideas are characteristically their own...a few tunes that you could whistle on the bus.' -Rhythm Magazine 'A very BIG sounding trio featuring Garey Williams (drums), MikeMattingly (guitar), and Dean Schmidt (bass). The instrumental compositions are musically and rhythmically interesting. Best described as 'easy to listen to rock fusion' along the lines of Metheny, Steve Khan, Holdsworth, Yellowjackets. The tones of each instrument are well matched and well recorded. Mattingly's guitar controls the focus of the material. The players follow one another with taste and dynamics. One of the tightest bands you will ever find.' -FUSE Magazine 'Here we have a trio of guitar, bass, and drums that pulls a lot of sound from just three players. Thanks to quality recording and judicious overdubs. Ecstasy In Numbers provides tasty guitar=oriented fusion a bit on the Holdsworth side of things. Guitarist Mike Mattingly even occasionally reaches for Holdsworth's trademark whines and slides. But Spellbound is not totally derivative. Ecstasy In Numbers charts out it's own course. As with any album of this kind, it's fate rests on the player's instrumental prowess. These three are very good musicians. The CD starts with the breezy 'Cruisin'. Another track, 'Rush Hour', goes the way of '90s Brand X, rockin' jazz with some sweet breaks. All the music is smoothly played, but light years beyond 'smooth jazz.' Interesting tempo and mood shifts abound. Unpretentious drumming augments melodic guitar leads and contrapuntal bass lines. Spellbound is a good buy for the fan of guitar-oriented fusion.' -Progression Magazine 'Formed in 1986, Washington State-based Ecstasy In Numbers are a trio consisting of Garey Williams on drums, Mike Mattingly on guitar and Dean Schmidt on bass. The three cook up some very tasty jazz-rock that will appeal to fans of Liquid Tension Experiment, Bozzio Levin Stephens and any other jazzy combo that Levin has been involved in. Bass isn't the most dominant instrument here, of course, as each are doing something interesting throughout, making this another one that you can full appreciate in just one sitting, and yet you can help be won over after a single listening. While it might seem the obvious comment to make, you'll be spellbound by Spellbound. Mattingly plays with crisp, clear lines; Schmidt's tone is deep and boomy, very earthy in tone. Williams' percussion is assured and no mere time keeping. Folks that came to mind - Larry Carlton, John Scofield, Craig Chaquico (um, yes, Mattingly does use steel string), Djam Karet, and many others, all at different points. The arrangements and their playing seems effortless from the get go, beginning with 'Cruisin'.'. Memorable melodies flow throughout the album though, no less on the title track 'Spellbound.' Each song is a journey that remains fresh and vital, these three guys aren't just playing jazzy figures, they're feeling them. Taking just some samples from this terrific album, 'Rush Hour' is muscular and a bit dangerous - in this rush hour we're not stuck in traffic, were taking an adrenaline and testosterone filled journey up twisting and winding roads or speeding along a flat, dark desert highway. Take your pick of imagery as they're both here. Throaty bass pulses with bravado; lacy guitar figures are anything but delicate, but quite lyrical and expressive... Fat bass lines open 'Spy Vs Spy,' sounding a lot like those found in the theme music for Seinfeld, though I'm sure there are other parallels to be found. This track is otherwise rather moody, as Mattingly plays some brooding guitar. While most of the tracks are heavier on the jazz than the rock, the rock aspect comes to the fore on tracks such as 'I'm Not A Vampire Anymore' which closes the album. 'Cruisin'' which kicks things off sounds vaguely familiar (aside from my having reviewed it on the AXcavation compilation. Maybe because there is no way this could be called anything other than 'Cruisin'' or other such mobile term, or maybe because Scofield (for example) has gone in similar direction...or rather they to Scofield. One song I did think of was Tears For Fears' 'Everybody Wants To Rule The World' This would be the more shimmery, jazzy, wordless version, but both have the same backing rhythm. 'Glass Hummingbird' is cheerful, the bass taking the lead...'tis where I though of Levin the most, but on the other hand, there are brief passages where it gets dirty, throaty and dark, and I think of Rush. The production on this album is terrific, crystal clear. You can hear every drum beat and every cymbal snick, shimmer, and crash, hear every thump of the bass, and hear every singing guitar note. Sure some of the tone colours they use aren't unique, but this so well done and quite engaging and entertaining that it doesn't matter. Highly recommended that you seek this out.' -ProgressiveWorld.net 'Why the hell are ECSTASY IN NUMBERS still unknown over here ? The band plays melodic jazz combined with relaxed progressive rock and artrock. Take the tracks Cruisin, Glass Hummingbird, Spellbound and Rush Hour for example ... especially these songs are on a high technical level ... but the songs are still songs because he guys succeed in focussing on silent, jazzy tunes that don't get annoying or too complex. If you like prog jazz or jazz prog ;-) you have to evaluate this album ! 6 points' - Markus Weis. -DURP.com 'Interesting.. very interesting.. An original jazz-metal fusion with a lot of brilliant musical ideas, symphonically-recurring themes and flowing freestyle arrangement. This is a tune you simply must listen to, if only to get a glimpse of what is 'out there'. The song is well executed, and the arrangement is technically sound...The guitar chords, arpisms, and solos are all very imaginative... Now, we have competent, drum, bass and guitar players here... If you're into fusion, or want to listen to something different for a change, try this!' -Christos Dimitrakakis Gods of Music.com 'Ecstasy In Numbers brings us this CD SpellBound, the bands first offering, and it is a strong one. They are a trio performing instrumental fusion. With a standard line-up of Guitars - (Mike Mattingly), Drums -(Garey Williams), and Basses - (Dean Schmidt), they offer a much bigger sound than one could imagine from a trio, and this is due largely on each musicians ability to play in and around the musical basis of each song. Each one of these guys are superbly gifted and well educated players. The songs range from technically disciplined ensemble mechanics that are very rock/fusion laced, to looser free flowing jazz/rock fusion. Each song displays the depth of the bands talents, by creating catchy grooves, or atmospheric textural sections, they provide ample space for adventurous soloing or melody phrasings. Guitarist, Mike Mattingly, leads the band through the compositions with his multifaceted approach to guitar, he seems to have a vast array of influences he taps to get the desired effect for EIN's many varied sounds, I can pick up everyone from Alex Lifeson (Rush), Scott Henderson (Tribal Tech), Steve Lukather (Toto), Pat Metheny, Allan Holdsworth, etc. in his playing, he has a very prominent sound in this band, and plays the roles as rhythmist and soloist very amicable. Drummer, Garey Williams, is an energetic and complex player, as a threesome, his polyrhythmic inventions, fills, and disciplined approach to time signatures, gives added dimension to EIN's music. Certain songs demand exacted and difficult cadences, with many odd times, and rapid fire staccato snippets, he delivers these with the mark of a pro, as if he were mechanized. Bassist, Dean Schmidt, not only holds the backbone of the bands structure solid, he too is offered center stage and shows is virtuoso side as a soloist on a few songs, the color he adds to each song is a personalized voice that coincides perfectly to Mattingly's guitars voicings, he is one of those rare players that can masterfully play outside of the harmonic realm, by fitting somewhat disharmonic tones and countermelody to the existing songs structure. In conclusion, EIN is a solid band, no filler cuts to bore the listener, and hopefully the band will follow this up with more to come. A must for fans of the following: Tribal Tech, The Code, Network, Fragile.' -mjbrady Prognosis Web Mike Mattingly is a uniquely talented guitarist with a wide range of playing experience. Beginning guitar lessons at age eleven in Richland, WA, and continuing studies with Jazz guitarist, John La Chappelle led to Mike's role as a guitarist in the award winning Columbia High School Jazz Choir and Jazz Band . While still a high school student, his guitar playing assisted the girl's jazz quartet to win first place at the Reno International Jazz Festival. Mike continued his studies at Columbia Basin Community College, and then on to Central Washington University where he broadened into jazz arranging and classical guitar. Mike was the guitarist for John Moawad's Jazz Band when they won 1st place in the West Coast Collegiate Jazz Festival in Berkley, California. During his early training, Mike was always involved with rock and/or pop bands. His projects have included, Moondance, a country-rock style band with the young, Garey Williams; Seattle rock band, The Jones; and #1 rated, Seattle Top 40 band, Boy Toy. Mike recorded with the Seattle area, progressive rock band, Zero Deals which has garnered a loyal local following. In the late eighties, Mike began his 'most original and satisfying musical collaboration' to date, Ecstasy in Numbers, the electric trio created with Garey Williams on the drums. Mike has performed at the Gorge in George, WA., the Paramount Theater in Seattle, The 5th Avenue Theater, The Seattle Opera House, the Mercer Arena, the Mural Ampitheater, Rock Candy, the Off Ramp and many other local Seattle area clubs. He has recorded at many of the major recording studios in the area including the Music Source, Bad Animals, Bear Creek and Triad. Currently, Mike Mattingly teaches guitar lessons, freelances and does studio work in the Seattle and Central Washington Regions. Garey Williams is a performing artist with unique abilities as a drummer and percussionist. With over twenty years of playing experience, Garey has performed as a solo percussionist, with chamber percussion groups, has been a guest soloist, clinician, adjudicator, recorded for radio and television and has appeared in concert with many local, regional and internationally known musicians such as: Diana Krall, Kristin Korb, Bud Shank, Barney McClure, Howard Roberts, Joe Williams, Clay Jenkins and Dizzy Gillespie. Born in Lawrence, Kansas, eventually settling in the Northwest, Garey began playing drums at age twelve which led to numerous professional engagements while still in his teens. He continued to study music throughout his school years, which led him to earn both a Bachelor and Masters degree in Percussion Performance and Jazz Studies at Central Washington University. With over twenty years of teaching experience, Garey has released a wealth of teaching materials under his own publishing company, Drumset Artistry. He has available: two educational videos; Developing a Solo Vocabulary, Rudiments Applied to the Drumset, two method books, Drumset Essentials Book One, Drumset Essentials Book Two and an educational CD. He has been published and/or reviewed in Rhythm Magazine, Modern Drummer, Percussive Notes, Fuse Magazine, Band World and a number of local and regional newspapers. Currently, Garey is doing various freelance recording and performing projects, has released a solo CD with his instrumental group, Ecstasy in Numbers and is conducting clinics for Vic Firth sticks/mallets, Sabian cymbals, Pearl drums, HQ Percussion Products, Remo drumheads and Protechtor cases. Rick White's background as a classically trained composer and jazz bassist combine to make both his compositions and his playing truly unique. His first experiences as a bassist were in R&B bands playing clubs all over the Western U.S. giving him strong roots in groove oriented music. After this he choose to pursue a more formal music education and attended Northern Illinois University where he received his masters in Music Composition and then the University of Northern Colorado where he is currently ABD. While in school, Rick was a teaching assistant in both the Jazz and Music Theory departments and played in many of the top ensembles. At UNC groups he was in received three Downbeat Awards. During Rick's time at both of these schools he was able to maintain a busy schedule as a sideman as well as back up many guest artists such as Tito Puente, Clark Terry, Mark Murphy, and Bob Mintzer to name a few. At NIU Rick's compositions were named outstanding student composition both years he was there and was featured on the faculty composition concerts. Also at NIU he was a featured member of the Faculty Jazz Quintet. Currently, Rick is the Director of Instrumental Music at Olympic College in Bremerton, WA. There he teaches both years of music theory, jazz theory, bass lessons, and conducts both the Jazz and Wind Ensembles.