Matt Weiers - Piano
Tim Willcox - Tenor Sax
- Alto & Soprano Sax
David Speranza - Bass
The special thing about
Matt Weiers’ music is that it is original and intelligent,
and the melodies are memorable. He says he wants to connect
with the audience and give them something to grab onto. And
he is successful. Matt is serious about his music, but he
likes to have fun, too, so that’s why he rented a fog machine
for the evening.
Two years ago I wrote about Matt and his group Fiction
Junkies. It was one of the most interesting groups
I’d heard. This time he’s with his
musical colleagues, Tim Willcox, John Nastos, David Speranza, Drew
Shoals and Chris Mosley, some of the top young musicians in
Portland. This was the first time the group had ever played
together, but with the vibrant music scene here, they are able to
collaborate with most any of their musical peers and sound compelling.
This concert featured many of Matt’s compositions.
The opening piece was Aubade, with Matt beginning alone, his playing
gorgeous and dramatic. David and Drew quietly joined in, and
then John on soprano sax and Tim on tenor, played in unison.
Drew tapped his drums with his fingers to nice effect. It had
the feel of European chamber jazz, the fusion of chamber music with
jazz. Matt wrote Raw Shoals for Drew. It was
joyous, with a rapid fire beat, and seemed to tell a story.
Breakthrough was pretty and intellectually pleasing. The
melody was thrilling and reminded me why I go out to hear live
jazz. Dim Vistas was suspenseful and made me wonder where
they were going and where they’d end up. Matt
started Royal Jelly, playing one note at a time. Drew played
the drum rims, and then they all joined in with an intriguing, Latin
rhythm. Frayed Veil was tender and featured John on soprano
sax. Matt took a long, complex solo. John and Tim
played in unison again, creating a rich sound. The ending was
loud and exciting. Reforming was a sweet tune, with John on
alto. They ended the set with a high energy tune, No Position.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the second set, so I
missed the fog machine/lights finale! And I missed Chris
Mosley who performed in the second set.
Matt has been teaching at the Hollywood Music Center for a year and a
half, and started hosting concerts there a year ago. His
thought was to create a place with favorable acoustics for the
musicians and audience, and he wanted to provide pianists with tuned,
high quality pianos to perform on. He has an outstanding
line-up for May and June.
5/15 7pm Love Song Karaoke (with live piano!)
5/23 8pm Grant Richards
5/30 8pm Nancy
King & Steve
6/6 8pm Bridgetown
Sextet (Andrew Oliver)
6/7 8pm Larry
Karush ( improvisational pianist/composer with
roots in Jazz, African-based percussion, and North Indian
6/19 7pm Jed Wilson, Ken
Ollis & Bill
6/27 8pm Paxselin
Quartet (Mary Sue Tobin)
Drinks and snacks provided (tips appreciated)
4200 NE Sandy Blvd