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IMPRESSIONABLE 



When I was young and asking the big questions, I learned most of what I still believe about loyalty, bravery and morality from the Silver Age superheroes in my comic book collection.

 

For real.

 

In later years I would travel internationally, study world religions, read classic works of philosophy and ethics, and even pay attention to my father's many lectures. I went to private school, public school, boarding school and the school of hard knocks. I'm an educated cat.

 

But to this day, when the world tests my mettle or challenges my sense of right and wrong, it's not Spinoza but my inner Green Lantern who shows up for the fight.

 

I've always been impressionable in this way. 

 

For example, I'm pretty sure I have a goatee because of the way Spock looked in "Mirror, Mirror." I know I started wearing dashikis in high school because of a picture I saw of Elvin Jones in Downbeat. I sport a beret on stage because Dizzy did.

 

Today, while watching Highlander for the godzillionth time, I noticed something about Christopher Lambert's home. Like so many characters in films of the 1980s and '90s, The Highlander lived in a loft.

 

It now occurs to me that my interior design preferences and bone-deep love of warehouse loft spaces and mid-century modern furniture are not based on anywhere I've lived or anything I've seen or studied. They don't reflect some sophisticated notion about the aesthetic requirements of an artist's life. They aren't because I need space to rehearse and create.

 

Nope. I learned about loft living from the movies. Dig: 

 

William Sanderson in Blade Runner (1982). Jennifer Beals in Flashdance (83). Lambert in Highlander (86). Barbara Hershey in Hannah and Her Sisters (86). Mickey Rourke in 9-1/2 Weeks (86). Tom Hanks in Big (88). Billy Crystal in When Harry Met Sally (89). Rosanna Arquette in New York Stories (89). Nancy Travis in So I Married An Axe Murderer (93). James Caan in Bottle Rocket (96). Ethan Hawke in Great Expectations (98). Julianne Moore in The Big Lebowski (98). Adam Sandler in Big Daddy (99). Christian Bale in American Psycho (00). Owen Wilson in Zoolander (01). Olivier Martinez in Unfaithful (02).

 

I want their cribs!

 

Thanks, Hollywood.

 

(Sure hope this flugelhorn thing works out.)

FROM THE ARCHIVES 

On This Day

 

March 1, 1996

5/4 Magazine

In Seattle: Dmitri Matheny

By Joseph Murphy

 

Sometimes, in distinguishing stylists and recordings, it's the little things that stand out...more

 

March 1, 1996

JazzTimes Magazine

Dmitri Matheny Red Reflections

By Jim Ferguson

 

With the exception of drummer Alan Jones, who plays with David Friesen...more

 


March 1, 1998

Workshop @ The JazzSchool

Four Pillars of Success In The Jazz Business

Part 1, Publicity: Ann Dyer, Merrilee Trost, Jon Yanofsky

Berkeley, California

 

March 1, 1998

Concert @ The Jazzschool

Bill Douglass & Friends
Berkeley, California

 

March 1, 1999

Jazz at Pearl's 

World Premiere: Savannah Panorama

Contemporary Jazz Orchestra
San Francisco, California

 

March 1, 2000

Monterey Herald

Christmas Tunes in March

By Mac McDonald

 

I never thought I’d be listening to a Christmas album in the beginning of spring...more


March 1, 2000

Oakland Tribune

Flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny Pays Tribute To His Mentor, Art Farmer

By Christina Eng

 

Dmitri Matheny got his first instrument, a trumpet, when he was 9...more

 

March 1, 2003

Concert & Workshop @ The Jazzschool

Amina Figarova International Band

Berkeley, California

FROM THE ARCHIVES - On MLK's Birthday 

In honor of Dr. King's birthday today, here's a show poster from 20 years ago this week: a benefit concert for the I Have a Dream Foundation, held at the old Yoshi's on Claremont (loved that place), sponsored by KJAZ (loved that station), featuring the late, great Eddie Marshall (will always love that guy) on drums.

I wonder what Dr. King would think of American society in 2013.

Would he be pleased by the election and re-election of President Obama?
Would he be gratified that race relations have improved overall?
Or would he be heartbroken to learn that race, class and income disparities continue to divide us?

I hope he would be heartened by the awareness that—at least among many of us—his dream is still very much alive.

~DM



January 17, 1993
Dmitri Matheny & The SOMA Ensemble
Strength to Love: A Tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr.
To benefit the I Have A Dream Foundation
Yoshi's Nightspot
Oakland, California

Greg Bridges, master of ceremonies
Dmitri Matheny, flugelhorn
Harvey Wainapel, alto saxophone
Regi Oliver, tenor saxophone
John Heller, guitar
John Wiitala, bass
Eddie Marshall, drums
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