July 1, 2000
By David Steinberg
Pianist Darrell Grant and flugelhorn player Dmitri Matheny aren't just playing together in concert. They're a duo.
"This is the beginning of a new duo project," Grant said in a phone interview from his home in Portland, Oregon.
"We decided to start a duo for one thing because we share an interest in chamber music and other styles outside of jazz."
They already have developed a repertoire that spans different types of music. Those varying styles will be on their programs tonight at the Taos Community Auditorium and Monday night at the Outpost Performance Space. For the Albuquerque concert, the duo is sharing the program with Greg Ruggiero's Young Lions ensemble.
The Grant & Matheny material has jazz standards, music of Felix Mendelssohn, Samuel Barber and Michel Legrand, and several spirituals. The spirituals will likely include "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child," "Wade in the Water," "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" and "Deep River."
"We've got a really neat repertoire," Grant said.
"It's really exciting and very satisfying for me," added Matheny. "It's just a great partnership."
The duo setup allows for the two to play as equal partners, to accompany one another and to solo.
"What we really focus on is drawing out the spirit of the music," Matheny said. "Darrell writes Ahmad Jamal-like arrangements with shout choruses. You get the intimacy of the duo but we swing."
The duo is in the midst of three weeks of touring in California, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado.