THE MATTHEW FINCK JONATHAN BALL PROJECT/It's Not That Far: A nice multi generational crew that knows it's jazz from various quadrants comes together again for a tasty trip through their songbooks. Cool modern jazz throughout, this sounds as close to a smoky New York club as you can get without actually being there. Ball's tenor sax leads like a beacon. This opens the ears nicely.
Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher
The word ‘synergy’ is often thrown at any attempt to work together. True collaboration is much rarer, and results in a whole greater than the sum of parts. And that describes my feelings about ‘It’s Not That Far’ from the Matthew Finck-Jonathon Ball Project. Two great musicians with a solid band and great guest makes some magical music.
Saxist Jonathan Ball and guitarist Matthew Finck have in the past worked with cats like Roswell Rudd, John Medeski, Randy Gillespie, and a buncha others, so it's not surprising they attracted heavyweights Adam Nussbaum (drums) and Jay Anderson (Bass) as a rhythm section in the Finck/Ball Project quartet…and then trumpeter Randy Brecker (um, if I need to explain who this cat is, you need to be watching TV instead) to sit in on three tracks. "It's Not That Far" is a cluster of nine songs, all but one penned by one or the other in the lead pair, and provides a fusiony be-boppy approach to straight-ahead.
Mark S. Tucker
Matthew Finck and Jonathan Ball – IT’S NOT THAT FAR: You’ll seldom hear such splendid guitar (Matthew) and tenor sax (Jonathan) together these days…
Guitarist Matthew Finck and reed man Jonathan Ball met for the first time at a wedding of a mutual friend and learned that they both had their roots in jazz. They dreamed about founding a band together, but it would last until 2012 before the Matthew Finck-Jonathan Ball project was born ….
Here are a couple albums by artists that are putting out some impressive mainstream jazz. Thoughtful, creative and looking forward, but with feet planted on terra firma.
George W. Harris
The woodwind and guitar team of Jonathan Ball and Matthew Finck has been an industrious and well respected presence on the New York jazz scene for a number of years.
Top 50 Jazz CDs of 2013 from JazzTimes
Although guitarist Matthew Finck and saxophonist Jonathan Ball met fortuitously many years ago as invited guests to the same wedding, this CD is the first to document their musical rapport and combined talents as players and composers.
The debut for the Matthew Finck/Jonathan Ball Project, the self-produced It’s Not That Far, is a finely crafted album of traditional jazz which should easily appeal to fans of Sonny Rollins, Herb Ellis, Tal Farlow and other likeminded artists who perform mainstream jazz with hints of bop and cool jazz.
The tenor saxophonist and the guitarist are an awesome tag team. Their melodies have been cast with sophisticated counterpoint and the harmonies make sweet music.
Raul da Gama