On his fifth CD, vibraphonist Matthias Lupri continues to expand the tonal potential of his instrument through unorthodox electronic manipulations. To begin the album, for example, he uses a violin bow on his vibes, the result of which is then “reversed, looped and distorted electronically” to produce ghostly, otherworldly sounds. The compositions are all Lupri originals, and the notion of “using the electronic stuff to expand [the instrument’s tonal] palette” underlies them all. The integration of such sounds with the composer’s tuneful melodies and infectious rhythms (over a variety of meter signatures) and the soloists’ inventive improvisations makes for an interesting and appealing program.

Lupri’s rhythm section is that of his previous recording—guitarist Nate Radley, bassist Thomson Kneeland (both of whom also manipulate electronics) and drummer/percussionist Jordan Perlson. They do a superb job of handling the music’s complex (but natural-sounding) meters and widely variable moods. The ensemble is expanded by Myron Walden on soprano and alto saxophones and bass clarinet and Donny McCaslin on soprano and tenor saxophones and alto flute. And although Lupri and Radley are fine improvisers in their own right, the postbop solos of both saxophonists could serve as models of intelligently constructed, ideally integrated improvisation.
David Franklin, JAZZTIMES July/August 2006

THE FOLLOW-UP TO 2004's excellent Transition Sonic, Metalix continues to highlight ambient textures that inform Matthias Lupri's impressionist post-bop. Lupri always surrounds himself with strong sidemen and this time is no different - reedists Myron Walden and Donny Mc-Caslin augment his working quartet. The music on this so-called "wondering and wandering suite" often has a floating quality to it - Lupri's airy notes tend to blend with those of the reedists as the subdued rhythm section keeps things even tempered. Tunes like "Ghost Clusters" are completely ambient in nature, but there are a number of more conventional jazz compositions like "(another) Lost Creek" and "Glass Stairs" that stand out. Lupri is a gracious leader as well, allowing his sidemen to take a stake in each piece. Far from the blues and bop of Joe Locke's Rev-elation, Metalix all the same is a fine vibes effort from an emerging player.
Tad Hendrickson, JazzWeek


"Innovative vibist Matthias Lupri issues an implied challenge with his latest album, Transition Sonic (Summit): to listen intelligently and repeatedly. His compositional style is so carefully woven that themes recur like old friends in different clothes. He has even written a brief "Sonic Prelude"-somewhat in the style of an opera overture that contains arias to be heard later. In fact, the prelude segues into "Sonic" without a break.

"Elsewhere there are many melodic and harmonic segues that bridge the breaks. The final chord of "Middle Zone" foreshadows the first in "The Day After," and "Deception" ends on a high-pitched D-minor chord, from where "Iceland Dark" begins a slow exploration of the same chord. "Iceland Dark" ends with a mysterious six-note motif in alternating 7/4 and 6/4, which opens "Chime Trance." And on it goes. In other words, Lupri has fashioned a 12-part suite of stunning beauty filled with atmospheric writing and virtuosic playing from a front line that in addition to the leader includes tenor/soprano saxophonist Mark Turner and trumpeter Cuong Vu, who are relentlessly exhorted by guitarist Nate Radley, bassist Thomson Kneeland and drummer Jordan Perlson."
Harvey Siders, JazzTimes

"With its odd-meter thrashing and electronic effects, Matthias Lupri's Transition Sonic exemplifies the cutting-edge of the American jazz Mainstream that shimmers and sizzles, with strong original compositions brought to life by musicians bound by strong sympatico. Lupri, an Alberta-raised, Boston-based vibraphonist, leads a top-notch sextet. Saxophonist Mark Turner and trumpeter Cuong Vu are unbeatably distinctive. Nate Radley plays ear-catching, contemporary guitar. Transition Sonic consists of smart, evocative Lupri compositions filled with riveting solos and enlivened by samples."
Peter Hum, Ottawa Citizen

"This stellar offering represents vibraphonist Matthias Lupri's second release for the Summit Records label. Joined by long-time collaborator, saxophonist Mark Turner, and reunited with Cuong Vu on trumpet, the vibraphonist and former rock drummer Matthias Lupri has written a stunning 12-part suite. The Berklee Music School alumnus opens this masterwork with "Sonic Prelude" which appropriately segues to "Sonic" a riveting, melodic continuum of creativity. Continuing with "Middle Zone," Lupri's affinity for swinging the jazz verities is quite apparent on his authoritative solos. Cuong Vu is brilliant with his free trumpet expression that takes this composition to another level. "The Day After," is haunting and beautiful with Lupri's sensitive melodies evoking placid thoughts.

"He breathes fresh straight-ahead jazz life into the vibes going through the full spectrum of its percussive and harmonious intonations. Cuong Vu and Mark Turner shimmer with masterful compliments and solos that combine the blunt precision of Vu's trumpeting and Turner's saxophone phrasing with that of Radley's original guitar voice. Kneeland and Perlson have an instinctive rhythmic balance that brings the set all together. Perlson's amazing drum solo on "Deception" is an indication that he is a jazz drummer to watch. Kneeland's bowed acoustic bass on "Iceland Dark," paints a magnificent tapestry of colors that is both eerie and beautiful, bringing to mind the exotic imagery of the island nation. "Middle Zone," "Deception," "Chime Trance," all keep you alert for something new and different at each turn and showcase Lupri's evolution as a musician, composer and vibist in the vein of both Gary Burton and Bobby Hutcherson. But it is the masterful revelation that Matthias Lupri shows as a jazz composer with fresh blowing vehicles that makes TRANSITION SONIC a must have for any serious collector of jazz vibraphonist works."
Paula Edelstein, Sounds of Timeless Jazz


"Lupri, a migrant from rock drums to jazz vibes, plays fast, loose, and at the top of his game."
Fred Bouchard, Down Beat

" a beautiful array of musical colors and textures, Same Time Twice exceeds the expectations and satisfaction heard on Lupri's previous two releases, providing a continuum for Lupri's vibraphone and compositional values and creativity."     Paula Edelstein, All Music Guide

"Lupri and company forge a decidedly progressive path on this splendid disc of well crafted originals."
Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes

"Chalk Same Time Twice up as a top contender for 2002! Feverishly recommended..."
Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz

"I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Matthias Lupri has created a personalized approach to his instrument and to his music."    Don Williamson, JazzReview

"Lupri's third album, the splendid Same Time Twice, offers a brace of fresh originals that have an open, now feel."
Zan Stewart, Liner Notes to Same Time Twice

"Lupri's leading edge jazz pieces reflect a desire to harbor growth, while not losing sight of the tradition."
Jim Santella, All About Jazz


"Lupri emerges as a another musician living up to his considerable potential... on this well-conceived cleanly executed program that comprises Lupri's own attractive compositions."   Neil Tesser, Jazziz

"Look out for promising young vibraphonist Matthias Lupri, a protégé of Gary Burton."
Dirk Sutro, Jazz For Dummies

"Vibist's Lupri's second album is an absolute jewel...."   Larry Nai, Cadence

"Shadow of the Vibe results in a satisfying amalgamation of elements - among them a blues with a quasi-second line drumbeat, some blazing bebop, exploratory free-like excursions and slow-moving ethereal passages in which the bassist and drummer interact presciently with the front line."   David Franklin, JazzTimes

"On Shadow of the Vibe Lupri gives the listener a chance to hear the vibes played as they should be: clean, powerful, intense and beautiful."    Michael Dougherty, The Jazz Review

"Lupri displays maturity, nuance and a strong penchant for reworking melodies intermingled with shrewd well-constructed soloing."    Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz

"A real hard bopper "Fast Corners" stretches Lupri's horizons, proving him a quite flexible, quick witted, happy and serious melodicist, taking the corners and straightaways at full throttle next to Garzone's 200 m.p.h tenor."
Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

"An enjoyable slice of advanced modern Jazz." Al Merritt, UK Jazz,London

"I just received Shadow of the Vibe, and I really dig it! Its... sublime, beautiful, colorful, rich, full-bodied and, as jazz must do, it swings!"    Miles Willis, KPFT, Houston, TX

"Matthias Lupri is doing his share to bring the vibraphone out from the shadows of jazz. The German-born, Berklee-trained performer takes another step in that direction with his second CD. Lupri's combo features a sax - George Garzone - rather than less pronounced piano or guitar. Lupri immediately displays his range as a composer over three superior opening tracks. "Investion" winds up with rhythmic epiphanies topped with pithy lyrical soprano playing by Garzone, who interpolates "The Look of Love" within his familiar style of quoting. Lupri takes his own lithe, spiraling turn there, but establishes more tonal presence in his snaking ballad "Mirror," shadowing Garzone's tenor with full, ringing responses. And "Fast Corners" veers the other way, swinging with abrupt changes and fierce solos over bassist John Lockwood's fast gait and drummer Sebastiaan de Krom's sharply attuned breaks. From the inquisitive lolls of "Miles Through You" to the jaunty shuffle "Augies Blues," Lupri keeps the vibes rolling within an ensemble context that honors his seductive sweep."    Paul Robicheau, Boston Globe

"Anyone who enjoyed Matthias Lupri's debut disc, Window Up Window Down - and lots of people did, to judge from the CD's success in radio polls - will find even more to like in this sophomore effort. The direct, articulate character of Lupri's vibes playing and composing are even more imposing this time around, while his abilities as a bandleader shine brighter in the present quartet, which includes two true giants of contemporary improvised music, saxophonist George Garzone and bassist John Lockwood. Shadow of the Vibe, in sum, provides what one hopes to find from a musician who made a strong first impression: real growth."    Bob Blumenthal

"Matthias Lupri is a vibraphonist with an ambitious approach to his music. Sometimes his exploratory playing is filled with glittering runs and fills, at other times it's traditional, blocking out colorful tone-textures or chords. In that sense, his playing is instantly recognizable and wonderful to hear."     James Lien, CMJ New Music Report

"One doesn't have to be familiar with such classic Blue Note freebop LPs as Eric Dolphy's "Out To Lunch," Andrew Hill's "Point of Departure," or Bobby Hutcherson's "Happenings," but these are three important frames of reference for Matthias Lupri's excellent new disc, "Shadow of the Vibe." The vibist-composer Lupri was born in Germany in 1964, right about the time the aforementioned recordings were made.

"Raised in Kansas and Alberta, Canada, he began as a rock-blues-country drummer before getting a late start—during his early 20s—on the vibraphone. He's more than made up for lost time.

"At Berklee Lupri's teacher was Gary Burton, master of an almost impossibly-clean four-mallet technique, but to his credit, he has absorbed much of his mentor's vast resources of musical knowledge without being imitative of him. Only on the shimmering, nocturnal solo piece "Intrusion" (Lupri wrote nine of the set's 11compositions) is Burton's influence palpable.

"Some of Lupri's originals are, to borrow the title of an album issued in 1960 under the supervision of John Lewis/Gunther Schuller, jazz abstractions. The themes are economical, launching a host of of fresh sounding solos both vigorous and pensive, depending, of course, on their settings, by the leader and the Fringe's George Garzone, a most valuable (if occasionally voluble) player on tenor and soprano saxophones. (Additional Blue Note homage: "Augie's Blues" is a nifty, updated paraphrase of Lee Morgan's all-time boogaloo groover, "The Sidewinder.") The malleable rhythms are courtesy of the bassist John Lockwood, Garzone's Fringe bandmate, and the Dutch-born, Berklee-educated drummer Sebastiaan de Krom."
James Isaacs,


"This quartet proves, beyond their compositions, a rare sensitivity. It is a real pleasure for the ear to listen to the sound of the vibraphone with the tenor sax, that inspires the rhythm section with such precision!"    Laurent Bonnefoy, Radio 16, France

"A melodically invigorating session of nine winsome originals which makes for a promising debut for Lupri"
Jack Bowers, All About Jazz

"Matthias Lupri's quartet produces a fine brand of mainstream bop, that takes as it's subject, the bustling city scenes outside Lupri's apartment. On tunes like "Children" and "Pictures", Lupri and Verbole play sinewy melodies that are either starkly set against rhythmic accompaniment or are cocooned in shifting harmonic cells. Elsewhere, on "Cementrical Jive" or the restless "Freefall", which uses all the different roots of the chromatic scale to create sense of disorientation, the hurried pace of the city is a clear model. "Abstraction" and "Names", however evoke those hot summer days on the stoop, with their lazy brushwork, breathy horn playing, and pulsating vibes. The minor-key vamp of "The Fruitlady" or the sing-song infectiousness of "Just Say Anything" provide some compositional counterpoint to the CD. This is all strongly delivered stuff and Lupri's future efforts should be watched."    Jason Bivins, Cadence Jazz Magazine

"I just received Shadow of the Vibe, and I really dig it! Its... sublime, beautiful, colorful, rich, full-bodied and, as jazz must do, it swings!"    Miles Willis, KPFT, Houston, TX

"Matthias has incorporated life into art in a highly personable fashion by writing about the views from his apartment window....and there's a dreamy quality to this disc where the vibes and tenor make comfortable diaphanous partners."
Richard Simon, Bird Magazine

"Sweet sounds and fluid playing. This recording is recommended to those who love their jazz straight up, with a lot of sincerity, drive and dedication."   Randy McElligot, The Jazz Review

"Window Up Window Down is a fine piece of craftsmanship! Vibraphonist Matthias Lupri demonstrates not only tasteful playing ability but also impressive compositional talent."   Gordon Borsa, Northeast Performer

"Matthias Lupri' s new CD is luminous, from the glowing tone of his instrument to the eloquent melodies, that somehow bring sometimes angular structures to a rounded harmonic resolution. All the musicians make persuasive contributions, particularly Lupri himself, and saxophonist Timo Verbole. It's always nice to hear a new voice on the vibraphone - check it ut."
Katie Malloch, CBC Radio

"This disc is an example of the soloists being keenly aware of the leader's conception - no one overplays and that is a definite sign of musical maturity: each member contributes in a personal way without any grandstanding. Lupri has paid substantial attention to composition and delivers a fine debut CD. The tunes are quite thought provoking in their ability to create sounds unhurried and mature."    Rob Levit, Musician Monthly

Live Performance:

"Boston based vibist Matthias Lupri doesn't sound like Milt Jackson or Gary Burton or Lionel Hampton or any of the other mallet-wielding patriarchs, and his intense writing distinguishes him even more so. Timo Verbole's ballsy sax is a perfect foil, the two of them weaving in and out of each other's paths, sometimes at a ferocious pace as on "Freefall." Lots of tempo changes midtune, the band holds itself together by the telepathic rhythm section. It's obviously a tight group, given that the entire, impressive album was recorded in one afternoon. This is definitely a band worthy of greater recognition."
David McElfresh, Jazz Now Magazine

"I find the Matthias Lupri Group exciting and refreshing..... "   Jack De Johnette


..."smokin' tunes from this Boston based fusion group." Matt Bowman, Performer Magazine

"This music soars with incredible energy and vitality and it is a passionately authentic sample of jazz fusion at it's best!"
Doug Sloan, Metronome Magazine

"This group will make a believer out of you!" Elio Maggini, Performer Magazine

"...absolutely loved that guy on the vibes - SMOKIN!!" Shalita Colon, WJKF. BET on Jazz

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