The Jazzcat

Eric Person and Meta Four Motor West for a Trilogy of Performances

by on Dec.14, 2007, under News

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Slide Show

Eric Person has been in the game for a long time. A fellow

Taurian who has been diligently grinding for years working hard to make his

musical statements of truth known to all who seek the magical gift that great

jazz music offers the world. Honing his skills by working as a sideman along

side many masters of this music, Eric has found a signature voice on alto and

soprano that not only stimulate “The Multitudes” of emotions but, intellectually

satisfy the equation for insightful melodies and harmonies.
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Click pic above for sample
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When Eric makes it way out west from Brooklyn New York he generally

uses a west coast version of his band “Meta-Four” appropriately titled “Meta

Four West”. This time he has taken the expense to travel with the east coast

version of Meta-Four across country because they have just recorded a new CD

called “Rhythm Edge” and any replacements would disturb the organic beauty of

the music.

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Working long and hard on this latest selection of compositions,

Eric feels that this is some of his best and most exciting work yet! With the

addition of Robin Eubanks on trombone, Ingrid Jensen on trumpet and Danny Sadownick on percussion,  the

tightness of the band just opens up into a more rich, full and vibrant sound

providing just the elements that these tunes called for.

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Eric is one of the few cats that work hard rehearsing the

band, writing and arranging the music, booking the tour, checking radio station

playlists, contacting program hosts for air play, arranging interviews for each

city, booking flights and arranging transportation and accommodations for his

players, marketing the performances, handling the money and finally getting on

stage and making sure that the music kills. It takes a lot of dedication,

commitment and endurance for every artist who has to create the mountain from a

mole hill all on their own but, life is all about creating your art, believing

in yourself and sharing with the world. Eric Person and Meta-Four work this

philosophy to the core so the least you can do is go out and be blessed by the

music.

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He did make a few stops here in the West and I was able to

do a little traveling and hang with the band for their performances in Los Angeles and San

Francisco. Santa Monica College

was first in the trilogy. There is nothing like young eager minds ready to soak

up the music. Well, I am sure that assignments for jazz class were additional

motivating factors but, none the less, the auditorium was packed and if you

came for an assignment, you left with an experience. This is the second time

that Eric has played for the students at SMC but the first time that they got a

chance to hear the music from fertile soil to bearing fruit.

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Jared Cashkin is an outstanding young 22 year old pianist

who has played with the band for the last few years and covers the entire

spectrum of melodic, swing, bop, grove, blues and ballads possibilities with a

wisdom well beyond his years. Adam Armstrong has a rhythmic understanding of

the concept that effortlessly flows from the strings of his bass and drummer

Peter O’Brien has for years provided the drive behind the pulse of the music.

These cats forge through the dense lyricism of the lines bobbing, weaving and

providing little fragments of personality that color the tunes different hues that

each time blossom different orchids. Eric has mentioned that he has sold more

CD’s on this tour than any other which is proof that the folks get the concept

and are thoroughly enjoying the music.

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Buy the album and click to watch Eric sign autographs

San Francisco

was next and the band played at a swanky spot below Market called Bacar;

restaurant on top, bar, music and lounge on the bottom. This is a dark, lovely

and very intimate spot and accept for the group of people who did not know that

it is disrespectful to talk and laugh out loud during a performance, the vibe

was pretty cool. I did not dine but, the cats said that the salmon was the best

meal that they have ever had. I thought that there was something in the food

because the second set was on fire. Just evidence that not only do you “Gotta

Pay the Band”, feed them well and spark some creativity on a whole new level!

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I met back up with the cats in Los Angeles at the Jazz Bakery. This time I

got a chance to be the Master of Ceremonies and give these brothas the proper

recognition that they deserve. Of course the band was on and this time they

were joined for one tune by Los

Angeles vocal mogul Dwight Trible, who got on stage

and with no rehearsal spiritualized the ceremony with a rendition of John

Coltrane’s “Afro Blue”.

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Three days with multiple performances or master classes

on each day can get pretty exhausting on the road but, the magic of the music

is always the ultimate elixir to take the edge off and get the “Rhythm Edge”

on!  Now even though, Eric is a good

friend, dedicated a tune to my beloved girl who now rests in peace,

photographed me on the cover of the album and asked me to write the liner notes,

this music deserves your attention! Listen for yourself and you will see that the

seamless sequence of the tunes will turn a listen into an enlightening,

musical, cerebral journey. I guarantee it!

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LeRoy Downs

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