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Matt Weiers Sextet
Hollywood Music Center
April 25, 2008

Matt Weiers - Piano
Tim Willcox - Tenor Sax
John Nastos  - Alto & Soprano Sax
David Speranza - Bass
Drew Shoals  - Drums
Chris Mosley  - Guitar

Matt Weiers Sextet 1 Matt Weiers Sextet 2
Matt Weiers Sextet 3

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 Trio

5/30  8pm  Nancy King & Steve Christofferson

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 music)  

6/19  7pm  Jed Wilson, Ken Ollis & Bill Athens

6/27  8pm  Paxselin Quartet (Mary Sue Tobin)

$5-$10 cover
Drinks and snacks provided (tips appreciated)

Hollywood Music Center
4200 NE Sandy Blvd

Pam Jones


Copyright 2008, Jazz Society of Oregon