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OZYMANDIAN DREAM 

Part One

 

I'm a young man, proud to be a member of the prestigious Philosopher's Forum. 

 

Our meeting place is a stately hall with white columns, not unlike a Roman temple, perched atop a steep hill.  

 

The names of the great philosophers, our wise elders, are chiseled on the marble wall.  

 

There's a grand salon where the elders speak and an archive where their lectures are recorded for posterity.

 

Our favorite days are when the elders visit to share their life experiences and ideas.  

 

My friends and I gather in the grand salon, listen attentively and ask many questions.  

 

Afterward we meet in the archive to read the great lectures of the past. 

 

We passionately debate the nuances and meaning of every phrase.

 

Part Two

 

It's now decades later. 

 

I'm honored to have been invited to speak at the Forum, but when I arrive, it is not as I remember.  

 

The columns are crumbling and the marble wall is covered in graffiti.  

 

The names of the elders, long dead, are barely legible beneath the chaotic scrawl.

 

The grand salon has been carved up into dozens of tiny rooms. 

 

There are too many speakers and everyone is shouting.

 

I struggle to communicate with a restless young audience. 

 

They seem distracted and have no questions.

 

Afterward, I ask if I may visit the archive. 

 

“Yeah, we don't really have that anymore,” I'm told. 

 

“It's a Chipotle now.”

MASTER FLUGELHORNIST ACK VAN ROOYEN 

If you're serious about the flugel, don't sleep on ACK VAN ROOYEN.
To my ears, now that AF and CT have passed, Ack may very well be
the greatest living practitioner of the Big Horn. Such subtlety,
style, soul and finesse. And what a gorgeous tone!
If I ever have occasion to return to Holland,
I'm definitely going to inquire about
getting a lesson from this
master musician.
 

REMEMBERING ORRIN KEEPNEWS (1923-2015) Podcast

MOON ROCKS (KEEPNEWS BLUES) from the album PENUMBRA
(L-R) Dave Ellis tenor saxophone, Dmitri Matheny flugelhorn, Orrin Keepnews producer,
Bill Douglass bass, Kenny Wollesen drums, John Heller guitar

New CD Sagebrush Rebellion Now Available For Pre-Order 

PRE-ORDER SAGEBRUSH REBELLION
For Immediate Download & Free Shipping


I'm delighted to announce that my new album Sagebrush Rebellion is now available for pre-order here.

The album will be officially released August 9 (to iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon, radio and retail) on the BluePort Jazz/Papillon Recordings label. We're staging CD Release Celebration shows in key markets around the country this fall.

In the meantime, for my friends and fans who pre-order now: you'll immediately receive an advance digital download of all tracks, plus free shipping throughout the continental US as soon as the CD arrives from the factory.

The CD features a terrific west coast rhythm section—Nick Manson, Justin Grinnell and Duncan Moore—and a great mix of music, including some new originals, classics by Johnny Burke and Duke Ellington, and favorite songs by Charlie Haden, Steve Swallow and Nat Adderley. 

Jim Merod, a close friend of my mentor Art Farmer and the director of BluePort Jazz, says, "This is one of my favorite recordings...I hope listeners enjoy the depth and delicacy of these songs crafted with Dmitri’s flugelhorn mastery."

I can't wait to hear what you think of our album. Here's the link.

Thanks for your continuing support!

~DM

Michigan Tour Diary — Day 7 

Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR
Michigan Tour Diary — Day 7
April 17 Berkley and Ann Arbor

Returning to Southern Michigan after our adventures in the Great White North,
today I led a workshop at Berkley High School and played a concert at
Ann Arbor's celebrated Kerrytown Concert House.

Warmest thanks to founder and artistic director Deanna Relyea
for creating such a beautiful listening room and including us on the KCH schedule.

What a privilege to collaborate with such talents as these:
the brilliant young Detroit saxophonist Marcus Elliot,whose debut album I absolutely love;
Quad Cities pianist Corey Kendrick, enthusiastically recommended to me by Reggie Thomas;
veteran bassist Tom Knific, a world class musician, mentor and friend since my Interlochen days;
and rising star Sean Dobbins, that all-too-rare sort of drummer who simmers with quiet intensity,
and then—at just the right moment—turns on the swang!

And what an honor to perform for and meet one of my longtime idols, jazz master Marcus Belgrave!

Mr. Belgrave and his lovely wife Joan (a vocalist I knew years ago in San Francisco)
are pillars of the Michigan arts community and two of the warmest, most soulful people on the planet.
Sassy and I are looking forward to getting together with them again next week.

If I accomplish nothing else on this tour, I did at least survive
the terrifying and humbling (yet thrilling) experience of
playing 'Stardust' in front of the great Marcus Belgrave.

Remembering Grant Wolf 

Dmitri Matheny, age 17
1983 NAU Music Camp

Stumbling across this ridiculous photo today (31 years later), I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for GRANT WOLF, who somehow was able to see past the silly clothes and cocky attitude, and steer this kid onto the right path to a beautiful life in music. Wolf was an inspiring teacher and was one of the first adults to take my jazz aspirations seriously. His encouragement was profoundly important to me at a critical time in my development.
I wish he were here so I could thank him.

TWO, FIVE, WONDER WHAT'S FOR LUNCH? 



INTENDED approach to improvising:

 

Don't think. Just listen and react. Don't play licks and patterns. Create melodies. Let the horn sing, and play from the heart.

 

ACTUAL thoughts while improvising:

 

Here comes the turnaround...classic Brownie riff goes here...nope, this tempo's all wrong. Bop scale! Cleverly ironic Daft Punk quote! Ooh, that was hip. Nobody caught it, of course. Now C-sharp diminished up the...Fail! Awww. Nick Payton wouldn't have missed that high note. Third valve is sticky...uh...where does the bridge go again? No idea. Blues lick! What the hell is happening? I wish the bass player would play the damn roots. Sloan Sabbith. Sloan Sabbith. Sloan Sabbith. Two, five, wonder what's for lunch? Hey now, that was kinda awesome. Sloan Sabbith. Oops, lost the form.

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