Review from Sam Pond
"Only Trust Your Heart" Scott Martin Band
"Only Trust Your Heart" is one of those rare, instantly familiar and comfortable albums. The Scott Martin Band puts together a good mix of recognizable tunes you can't name, and drops in a few originals that slide right by sounding as established as every other song on the album.
'Gregory is Here' introduces you to Scott and guest Justo Almario on sax, and within the first minute, you know you're in for a compelling listen. Both players solo effortlessly, and are a great complement to the other. More strained improvisations can be heard out of more established artists - to hear these two shred across the range invites you to give them a little house on your own, even though this is a studio album.
'Only Trust Your Heart' gives a chance for pianist Mark Massey to expound on what he hinted at in 'Gregory', and the electric piano doesn't disappoint. Scott stays a little more low-key here, showing more of a sensual side.
In 'Cleve-Land', Scott lines up on the flute, and even if you are not the total flautist fan, it's a fun listen, as Scott keeps it classy and articulate, never shrill. Rick White on guitar steps out and makes it known what a talent he brings to the lineup.
Justo reappears on 'Black Orpheus' alongside Scott on sax, and Massey plays a little more to the direct counterpoint. The saxes are mixed well in a stereo setup that allows you to identify each of the pair with ease, without feeling as if you have one on the left shoulder, the other on the right. Out of the center comes guitarist Rick White, and his style is a nice subtle change from the flow of Scott and Justo. Just as articulate, just as nuanced, but he flows just a little bit differently to mix it up a little.
A Scott Martin original, 'A Night in Rio' lays down a lower-key rhythm than you might expect, but that allows the solos to be all the more prominent.
The flute appears once again for 'Clouds', and Scott pulls it off without a hitch. It has to be glossed over to get to 'LOMB' (most will recognize it as Land of Make Believe), where Justo again joins Scott on sax, and we've been here before - as on every other track where the pair teams up, both take great strides on their own and are yet in perfect step.
'Samba Del Cabo', another Rick White original, falls in after 'Tangerine', and bass player Ernie Nunez takes his well deserved15 seconds.
Finishing out the set is 'Antonio's Song', the only track on the album with vocals. Nice finishing touch, even if after having been treated so well by the previous nine cuts you find yourself wanting to hear a little more of what Scott and the other players would do if they had the full five minutes to themselves.
This is a great set that will set you hunting for the previous four releases from the Scott Martin Band, and make you wonder what is taking so long to release the next!-----Sam Pond