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Dead Cat Bounce

Dead Cat Bounce, Boston's Outstanding Jazz Act (Boston Music Awards, Phoenix Music Poll and Improper Bostonian) and recipient of commissions from Meet the Composer and Chamber Music America, is one of the few recent jazz bands to have arrived on the scene with its own distinctive voice. Featuring four saxophones of all ranges plus upright bass and drums, Dead Cat Bounce is the unique artistic vision of Matt Steckler, its founder and leader. The group formed late in 1997 as a recording project. Word of DCB's high caliber as a performance ensemble quickly spread, and now the group plays festivals, concert series and notable clubs throughout North America.

Dead Cat Bounce invokes Charles Mingus and the World Saxophone Quartet with their "tightly arranged, swirling contrapuntal reeds and multi-part, blues n' roots-infused tricky compositions" (Jon Garelick, the Boston Phoenix). Their eclectic approach to rhythm is informed by traditions from the Caribbean, Deep South, Brazil, West Africa, Eastern Europe and Detroit. In Dead Cat Bounce, solo and collective improvisations energetically complement the poise of its ever-expanding compositional repertoire. According to Dave Liebman, Dead Cat Bounce "does it all with exquisite writing, the subtle use of a bass-drum rhythm section and above all a definite sense of communication between the members that I am sure will be apparent to even the casual listener. These young, Boston-based musicians are not just playing the music on the page, but listening and communing together."

Dead Cat Bounce's members are on the cutting edge of today's jazz, rock and world music scenes and have performed and recorded with: Dave Douglas, Steve Lacy, Lonnie Plaxico, Roswell Rudd, Matt Wilson, Anthony Braxton, Cecil McBee, Michael Cain, Pheeroan Aklaff, Curtis Fowlkes, Leroy Jenkins, Bob Moses, the Either/Orchestra, Miracle Orchestra, Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, the Fela Project, as well as smaller groups in which individual members lead. Most of DCB's lineup attended the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and studied there with such renowned artists as Danilo P

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Album Review

Dead Cat Bounce: Chance Episodes

Read "Chance Episodes" reviewed by Raul d'Gama Rose


It does not behoove to fall for the apparent flippancy of Dead Cat's Bounce. The name of the ensemble is merely an ironic take on the state of the union; and on a larger canvas it casts aspersions on the relevance of capitalism without the folk tradition. Even its use of klezmer music and a mash of marching music, folk blues rhythms and other cultural motifs are to suggest the richness of Babel-like nature of America's music. The wry sense ...

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Album Review

Dead Cat Bounce: Chance Episodes

Read "Chance Episodes" reviewed by Jerry D'Souza


Saxophonist Matt Steckler is a man of many parts. As a musician he has led his own bands including the imaginatively titled Dead Cat Bounce and has played with some of the finest including saxophonists Anthony Braxton and Lee Konitz, and percussionist Bobby Sanabria. His varied associations and wide comfort zone are manifested in the array of styles infused into his compositions. He is well-served by his band, an unusual combination of four saxophones, bass and drums. Dead Cat Bounce ...

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Album Review

Dead Cat Bounce: Chance Episodes

Read "Chance Episodes" reviewed by Dave Wayne


Combining a supremely agile multi-reed quartet with a lithe rhythm section, Dead Cat Bounce is anything but moribund on its Cuneiform debut, Chance Episodes. The title is a bit of a misnomer as well, as the highly developed compositions--all written and arranged by saxophonist/woodwind multi-instrumentalist Matt Steckler--leave little to chance. Originally commissioned by Chamber Music America in 2003 and subsequently refined and expanded for this recording, Steckler's pieces tend to proceed episodically as a string of seemingly unrelated movements or ...

180
Album Review

Dead Cat Bounce: Chance Episodes

Read "Chance Episodes" reviewed by Andrew J. Sammut


Saxophonist/composer Matt Steckler mentions “remembering things anew," when describing the music he wrote for Chance Episodes. Dead Cat Bounce certainly “remembers" several influences on its fourth album, yet its members recollect via their own unique voices. The Boston-based sextet munches on several speeds of hardboiled swing for “Food Blogger," with calypso beats sandwiched throughout. “Silent Movie, Russia 1995" travels between Terry Goss' big, bluesy tenor sax and Jared Sims' jagged klezmer riffs on clarinet. Sims also contributes ...

178
Album Review

Dead Cat Bounce: Home Speaks To The Wandering

Read "Home Speaks To The Wandering" reviewed by Mark Sabbatini


Their music defies easy description, but there's no trouble understanding why they keep winning awards and polls as Boston's best jazz band.

Dead Cat Bounce blends everything from traditional big band to uber free jazz into a thick and inexplicably coherent canvas on their third album, Home Speaks To The Wandering. A record store owner might file this under avant-garde (fusion might be more appropriate in the true sense of the word), but it has enormous potential appeal ...

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Album Review

Dead Cat Bounce: Home Speaks to the Wandering

Read "Home Speaks to the Wandering" reviewed by Mark F. Turner


Dead Cat Bounce is about attitude. The saxophone quartet with rhythm section is definitely not your typical garden variety combo. With highly orchestrated material injected with taut musicianship and a sense of wittiness, the group has been lauded in the press and in their hometown of Boston. Their new recording Home Speaks to the Wandering continues in the vein of their recent recordings with tinges of Charles Mingus, the World Saxophone Quartet, and new attitudes.

A cursory listen might overlook ...

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Album Review

Dead Cat Bounce: Legends of the Nar

Read "Legends of the Nar" reviewed by Mark F. Turner


Their name might be a bit strange, but the Boston group Dead Cat Bounce is one of today’s more interesting and progressive saxophone quartets. Their new recording Legends Of The Nar is a workout for strong horn arrangements with a creative flair. With the profile notable groups such as the World Saxophone Quartet and the American Saxophone Quartet, the acceptance of the sax quartet is growing in popularity, and deservedly so. Many lesser known groups performing at universities and smaller ...

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Music

Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Chance Episodes

Cuneiform Records
2012

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Chance Episodes

Cuneiform Records
2012

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Chance Episodes

Cuneiform Records
2011

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Home Speaks to the...

Innova Recordings
2004

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