Sensual, and sensuous only just begin to describe this lovely, laid back album created by Matt Venuti consisting of his velvet voice, a little Huang, the occasional vocal accompaniment, a dash of Gubal and Hang Gu added to the wonderful acoustic mix.
In so many ways it is like listening to a very, very laid back version of many of the protest and environment based mantras of the ‘60’s and ‘70’s when people such as Joan Baez, Peter, Paul and Mary, Bob Dylan and the like, were blasting their message out loud and clear, for all to hear.
Venuti is pushing the same or similar messages but in a gentle, all pervasive manner that you discover very slowly. At first listen you hear the music, the words rise evocatively out of the beat, speaking gently to your heart.
In Rise the words ‘Open your heart to the sky; Rise, Rise let love carry you through’, touches the very soul, making a delightful mantra that can be used at any time. The All has a wonderful bluesy, jazzy style refrain; the use of spoken song changes the tempo completely, but keeps coming back once again to the heart being all that needs to be cared for, because ultimately, that is all that counts.
Each piece is slightly different with Loosen the Grip changing tempo completely to an almost country sound, a foot tapping melody with once again words that resonate. It’s about remembering, letting go, love and falling in love; enjoying the ‘spirit’, the love that once was, but yet is still there, left to be taken out and enjoyed in those quiet, reflective, yet special moments.
From a young age Venturi was surrounded by music as his father was a jazz pianist. Learning the piano at an early age, established the foundations, but once he discovered trumpet, that too had to be learned and mastered. His music and life journey took him along many varied pathways, finding fascination in electronic music and then the wonderful, ancient percussion instruments of India and the Middle East.
No longer a young man, he has allowed his life experience to permeate his music, giving it a rich timbre not often found in this style of music. A wonderful piece is Dessert Dreams where he describes a cactus standing there in majestic solitude, a scorpion moving across the desert, the cry of a coyote, which is pure poetry set to music.
The beautiful rendition given to the Bill Withers song, Lean On Me touches deep within. The gentle overlay of female vocals adds something a little mysterious and intriguing to the mix.
Beautiful, powerful, relaxing and totally enjoyable, The Rhythm of Life has been designed to entertain, deliver a message and inspire, which it most definitely has done.