Drummer and composer Matt Wilson describes his eighth record as a leader on Palmetto Records, That’s Gonna Leave a Mark, in terms of honesty and family. The first album by Wilson’s Quartet since 2003’s Humidity, Wilson views it as “getting a chance to have this great band record again!” Alongside Wilson, alto saxophonist D’Angelo, tenor saxophonist Jeff Lederer and bassist Chris Lightcap are all in fine form. All the members of the Quartet have played together since the late 1990s, though this marks Lightcap’s first recorded appearance with the group.
The intimate bond between all the musicians is palpable on the album. Recorded by Matt Balitsaris at Maggie’s Farm, with the band all in the same room, That’s Gonna Leave a Mark has a live and energetic sound. The air moving between instrument and microphone, and the sensation of musicians playing into the room and to each other, gives the tunes added momentum. “I think it really captures us as close to being live as you can be. You really get to smell, taste and see the sound that way. You feel it coming in your ears from the instrument, rather than the little speakers on your ears. I think it really helps with the dimensions of the sound, how people can react to the sound other than just through their ears. Like on a gig, you experience it totally differently. The decision to do that was really great and I’m so glad we did it.” Many of the tunes are first or second take, with no edits. Shouts of encouragement and enjoyment are audible throughout the record – almost as though the listener were a guest on the control room couch of Maggie’s Farm.
The album contains a wide spectrum of repertoire, with originals by all of the members. “To have everybody else contribute a song too, that makes it more special,” Wilson opines.
“I think it’s much like the player, they have distinct personalities, and we blend together, but you can always tell the personality. That’s the way the tunes work together too.”