One in Mind
On March 17th guitarist Matt Richards' latest CD One In Mind will be officially released on his own FingerMusic label. "This is a departure from my previous releases as it features me performing in live duets and groups", Matt explains. "My first two CDs were entirely solo projects where I was the only musician." Recent fans of Matt's music may not be aware that he has a broad range of experience in duets, trios and groups and as a sideman both on stage and in the studio. "My solo acoustic work is a specific part of what I do with my music", he reveals. "While it has been more prominent on my schedule in recent years, I've always enjoyed collaborating with other artists playing jazz, world music or anything that is inventive and engaging. With this release listeners finally have the opportunity to hear me in these different settings." The concept of collaboration is the driving force behind the selections on One In Mind. The title is based on the Buddhist concept of Many In Body, One In Mind (in Japanese Itai Doshin). "A group of people can accomplish very little of value if each person is there for their own singular gain", Matt explains. "However, when they come together with the same goal and determination and combine their individually unique abilities, the selfless collaboration yields much greater results. This is what I felt during these performances." The selections include duets with Matt's longtime musical partners bassist Bill Zola and guitarist Jim Goodin, improvised work with the acoustic-based Language of 3 (featuring Matt on fretless guitar) and one unaccompanied solo piece - Matt's own take on Something by ex-Beatle George Harrison. "While I play alone on Something, I did feel as if George Harrison put the piece in front of me and I respectfully re-configured it with my own approach. It just felt right when I included it on the final version of the album." Drawing upon over 30 years of jazz, classical and world music experience, Matt has evolved an eclectic but highly musical identity. Upon it's release in 2004, his second all-acoustic solo album Dayside garnered comparisons to guitar legends Pierre Bensusan and Ralph Towner and drew Matt to perform almost exclusively as a solo guitarist. While he has gained notice for his unaccompanied acoustic work, his trio and duet performances have been spread across both his schedule and the geographic area. It was during 2007 that Matt actually returned to regular trio performances. In addition to his solo and group performances and workshops, Matt is recording a third solo release and recording with his trio.