Ryan Meagher
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Ryan Meagher

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"Atroefy Review #6"

Yet another splendid guitarist, albeit with a totally different and fresh approach to jazz... as the liner notes say, a kind of "modern jazz for the indie rocker". No matter what kind of "brand" you give it, though, if you have adventure in your soul, you'll enjoy Ryan's music! One thing that seems to course through all 7 brilliant tracks is groove... not all the pieces are the sort you'll sing along to, due to some pretty "loose" structures that allow all 5 players (Meagher's guitar, Loren Stillman's superb alto sax, Matt Renzi's woodwind magick, Geoff Kraly's electric bass & Vinnie Sperrazza's drums) to explore to their heart's content. Though they move 'round the circle constantly, they don't wander at all... tight, tight, & very together! This CD has some highly talented and original players who very clearly enjoy "twisting" your ideas of what jazz is "supposed to be" 'round a bit... I give it a HIGHLY RECOMMENDED & expect we'll be hearing much more from Ryan soon! - Rotcod Zzaj (aka Dick Metcalf) Improvijazzation Nation


"Radio Quote"

A Fresh Sound by New Talent indeed!
Peter Kuller, Radio Adelaide - Australia - Radio Adelaide


"Atroefy Review #1"

FRESH SOUND NEW TALENT
RYAN MEAGHER/Atroefy: Modern jazz meets alt.rock as this young guitarist goes about blazing some new trails. Certainly nothing here a moldy fig will relate to, there’s not much a punk will relate to either. It is a solid dose of college kid music for young tastes that just don’t get Coltrane’s wild years period and think a lot of 50s progressive stuff is grandpa music. Jaded ears will have new proof a new day is dawning.
Chris Spector, Midwest Record - www.midwestrecord.com - Midwest Record


"Atroefy Review #2"

"The composition is interesting and the energy level is enviable, and the music tells a story..." -Ralph A. Miriello of Jazz.com - Jazz.com


"Atroefy Review #4"

Ryan Meagher (pronounced “marr”) is a young, New York City-based guitarist-composer who bridges the gap between smooth jazz and modern pop on his debut release Atroefy. His compositions are the type of tunes you would hear featured in romantic dramas and biopic films, or fashioned into a pop ballad acting as the backdrop for those moments of introspection. Meagher’s music comes from inside himself and pours out like the words from a private journal. He is accompanied by a group of up and coming musicians who compliment his style of playing including alto-saxophonist Loren Stillman, woodwind instrumentalist Matt Renzi, bassist Geoff Kraly, and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza.
Though there is no doubt that Meagher is the ring-leader of this crew, his guitar work is integrated into the patterns of fluxing mosaics and swerving lines. He rarely steps into the frontlines which is designated for the saxophone, the woodwinds, and even the drums have a prominent role in the melodies, but the guitar is often beautifully understated and acts as a support staff through the melodic structures. The listener can actually hear the melodic patterns breathing, taking air in and releasing it out creating a series of fluxing motions like in “Republic.” The music forms delightful twirls along “Poetry In Motion” as the saxophone trails a path of majestic spins and the guitar, in its low-key register, follows in a friendly manner like a child experiencing a new-found feeling for the first time. Tunes like “Divided Road” and “RE: Creation” have hummable phrases, which stick in the listeners mind and move to the tempo of ones inner rhythm. The snaking woodwinds of “RE: Creation” have a friendly manner about them and are surrounded by splashing drum strikes and firmly stationed bass beats and guitar spins, it creates a stress-free and festive mood for the listener.
Meagher takes listeners inside themselves, hearing their own breathing patterns through the breathing patterns of the instruments. Whether the mood is solemn like in “Republic” or festive like in “RE: Creation,” Meagher shows that there are many sides to his own inner rhythms and others, and that’s a good thing.
- www.jazzreview.com


"Atroefy Review #3"

A rock sensibility informs guitarist Ryan Meagher’s
new project, Atroefy. As he mentions in a set of
tongue-in-cheek liner notes, “I wanted to go back to
being that suburban San Jose garage band teenager
kicking over a mic during a screeching solo… but this
time, I brought chord changes.” To that end, Meagher
succeeds in fusing his potent knowledge of harmony
and melodic playing with a harder edge. Propelled by
drummer Vinnie Sperrazza’s powerful rock beats and
Geoff Kraly’s confident bass lines, Meagher’s penchant
for accessible yet musically substantive playing is given
the freedom to take flight. Memorable moments include
the opening and closing tracks, “Divided Road”
and “Re: Creation”, respectively, which both in their
own way embody the principle of musical cross-pollination
that is at the core of Atroefy.

By Dimitry Ekshtut of Jazz Improv, NY - Jazz Improv NY


"Atroefy Review #5"

Ryan Meagher is a guitarist who makes jazz his home but hearing his playing on Atroefy (Fresh Sound New Talent) makes me believe that this guy can run circles around most anyone if they dare challenge him. The style of jazz he and his band play on this album is very much rooted in the 70’s, crossing styles that you may have heard on CTI, Mainstream, and Tappan Zee with occasional bursts of Weather Report and Return To Forever thrown in, or at least that’s what I get out of hearing Vinnie Sperrazza on drums. He has that Tony Williams vibe to him but could easily play things that Billy Cobham or Elvin Jones could play with ease.

As for Meagher, the guy can play a mean guitar but sometimes he allows the other musicians on the album (Sperrazza plus Geoff Kraly on bass, Loren Stillman on alto saxophone, and Matt Renzi on tenor saxophone and clarinet) take over and help form the musical pictures he creates in his songs. “A Familiar Farewell” is track #2 but could have easily been the perfect way to end the album, on a funky note. Meagher’s way of getting into and under the groove is quite nice, very much in the Phelphs Collins and Al McKay tradition. “Downers” may be an appropriate title for a song that begins sounding like something you’d expect from Soundgarden or Nirvana but the saxophone solo saves it from being a downer of a song and helps take it to a new place. I wouldn’t mind hearing a version of this song performed by someone else, and the sax replaced by another guitar just to see where they’d be able to take this. Perhaps not surprisingly, Meagher does get a chance to meet up with his love of Nirvana with “Can’t Complane”. “Modern jazz for the indie rocker”? It definitely works with “Can’t Complane” and yet the union between indie rock and jazz is perfect between the musicians here, not a clash by any means.

With jazz guitarists, either it will be strictly jazz or it will drift off to the left and morph into other things suited to the guitarist’s tastes, and Atroefy is definitely the latter. Fortunately the music keeps itself in jazz so you’ll never mistake this for Tony MacAlpine, but who knows, perhaps the path of these two guitarists will cross and end up creating something incredible. - The Run-Off Groove


Discography

Ryan Meagher - Atroefy (Fresh Sound New Talent Records)

Photos

Bio

It has not taken young guitarist, Ryan Meagher, very long to make waves in the jazz community of New York City. Since graduating from San Diego State University, where he attended on a full scholarship awarded on performance, Ryan has quickly acclimated himself with the foremost musicians and venues on the New York jazz scene. Having a solid and consistent fan base in both Northern and Southern California, Ryan is quickly amassing a fan base in a scene that has a much more vibrant community. With cutting edge, creative compositions and a firm grasp on the tradition and language of jazz, Ryan is destined to have a long, fruitful musical career.

When he was a mere 16 years old, Ryan played with world-famous trumpet player, Wynton Marsalis, at the prestigious Northern California venue, Villa Montalvo. Though it could be said Ryan’s artistic vision and creativity have certainly progressed since playing with the established jazz star, Wynton still had some remarkable things to say about the budding musician. Marsalis asserted Ryan, “…has an incredible sense of the blues for a youngster.” And has, “got it”.

Though still quite young by jazz industry standards, Ryan helped launch San Diego’s premiere jazz club, Dizzy’s. Though Dizzy’s now has a prime downtown location with the addition of the new ballpark, and a few years of solid experience to help itself out, it started out as a warehouse space in a trucking company building, and no big name acts. But with help from Ryan’s numerous projects and other contributions from the Southern California jazz community like Gilbert Castellanos, Joe Bagg, Peter Sprague, Charles McPherson and others Dizzy’s has grown to be THE place to book in San Diego. Just ask Bill Frisell who recently had a date there with his quartet. From his successes in Southern California at places like Dizzy’s, Ryan was able to tour Mexico and Canada on separate occasions. This alone may be enough to guarantee that Ryan’s stock in New York will rise over the coming years, but couple that with his ability to gain a fan base in a new location and one may as well look for him in the NYSE. He has already led groups at such prestigious New York venues as The Knitting Factory, Brooklyn’s Center for Improvisational Music (C.I.M.), Arlene’s Grocery, The Bitter End, led a weekly jazz residency at the famed Kenny’s Castaways, The C Note, Coda, Café 111, Groove and 169 Bar. With many more New York clubs in his sights, Ryan is locked and loaded for a storming of the scene.

Ryan is very forward thinking with his music, but has certainly gained a lot of knowledge about the history and tradition of jazz music through his many prestigious teachers. Some of these teachers include modern jazz stalwarts like Kurt Rosenwinkel, Ben Monder, Steve Cardenas, and Peter Bernstein. Or players from a different generation such as well-known jazz educator, Mark Levine, post-bop guitar legend Kenny Burrell, Latin jazz giant Poncho Sanchez, and the renowned Heath Brothers.
One of Ryan's current projects is leading a band consisting of some of New York's most sought-after up-and-comers. Loren Stillman on alto sax, Mike McGinnis and Matt Renzi on reeds, Vinnie Sperrazza on drums, and Geoff Kraly on electric bass make up the musicians who work with Ryan on his "Atroefy" project. The project produced a record that is now available from Fresh Sound New Talent Records, based out of Barcelona, Spain. Ryan also leads a Boogaloo band called, Oddibe Funky (pronounced Oh-di-bee Funky), which draws from a talent pool that includes Alan Ferber, Mark Ferber, Vinnie Sperrazza, Jared Gold, Dan Pratt, Dave Ambrosio, and Geoff Kraly.

If the recent past is any indication of the future, Ryan may end up being one of the front-running jazz musicians of his generation. What, with his creative and thoughtful compositions, his daring and organic improvisation, his hard work ethic, and determined attitude. Maybe all of these reasons are why Joe Bagg (Down Beat Magazine top rated organist) calls Ryan, “definitely one of the more promising young musicians I’ve come across.”