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Matt Penman

Matt Penman hails from Auckland, New Zealand where he started playing bass at the age of 14. A scholarship from Berklee saw him move to the States in 1994 and to New York soon after that where he maintains a busy performing, recording and teaching schedule.

He is currently an established member of the SFJazz Collective, an 8-piece composer’s collective devoted to presenting the original works of its members as well as arrangements by the band of a different jazz great’s work every year. The Collective is in its sixth year and currently features Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas and Stefon Harris. He also performs regularly with John Scofield; in his trio-plus-horns formation, and in a quartet with Joe Lovano and Matt Wilson. He is also a member of Nils Wogram’s Root 70, the Aaron Parks Quartet, a drummerless trio with Hayden Chisholm and John Taylor, and the Joshua Redman trio. Past collaborators and projects include Kurt Rosenwinkel’s Heartcore band, Kenny Werner, Brad Mehldau, Chris Cheek, Brian Blade, Seamus Blake, Wolfgang Muthspiel, Mark Turner, Guillermo Klein, Rebecca Martin, Eric Truffaz, Nicholas Payton, and from 2004-2006 he toured extensively with the singer Madeleine Peyroux.

As well as composing for the SFJazz Collective, Matt continues to release his own projects - in 1998 the co-led album Flipside on Naxos, then in 2001 The Unquiet, and 2008 Catch of the Day, both on the Barcelona label Fresh Sound. He also features on about 85 CDs on various labels.

Matt teaches and has taken part in workshops and seminars in Sevilla, Spain, and Tavira Portugal, and in 2006 was Artist in Residence at the Brubeck Institute in Stockton, California.


Album Review

Rachel Z: Sensual

Read "Sensual" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Whatever her impetus--be it the loss of her parents or peans to a shared sense of hearth, home and heaven--pianist/composer Rachel Z's thirteenth full length album, Sensual, bares a sincere, hopeful humanity. Buoyed by a sense of survival, Sensual opens as if it were a letter, closing with the Foo Fighters' crotch-kick raise-the-roof-'n-rile-'em-up “These Days." Sensual pulls one in fast and fully with the keenly seductive opener, “Save My Soul." It dances. It stirs. Z, whose ...

Album Review

Ben Winkelman: Heartbeat

Read "Heartbeat" reviewed by Neil Duggan

Awaiting the arrival of his first child while locked down in New York City during the pandemic were probably not the circumstances which pianist Ben Winkelman would ideally have chosen for writing new music. Nonetheless, taking inspiration from the anticipation of fatherhood and the feeling of isolation acted as the catalyst for the nine compositions which make up his sixth album, Heartbeat. His previous albums focused on a piano trio format; this one marks a slight change as ...

Liner Notes

Jonathan Kreisberg: Night Songs

Read "Jonathan Kreisberg: Night Songs" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

Although technical proficiency and filigreed improvisations often catch the attention of the average jazz fan, those in the know will insist that you can't really evaluate the mettle of a jazz musician until you hear how he interprets a ballad. Memorable efforts from the jazz cannon that fruitfully establish a reflective mood over the length of an album must include John Coltrane's Ballads, Kenny Dorham's Quiet Kenny, and Grant Green's Idle Moments. With six dates already as a ...

Album Review

Mark Lockett: Swings & Roundabouts

Read "Swings & Roundabouts" reviewed by Jack Bowers

The “free jazz" movement has come a long way since its introduction mid-20th century by pathfinders like Tadd Dameron, Ornette Coleman, Cecil Taylor, Eric Dolphy, Archie Shepp, Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell, Muhal Richard Abrams, Andrew Cyrille, Lester Bowie and their kin. The music, which favors free expression in lieu of customary chordal, rhythmic and harmonic precepts, was at times puzzling, even painful, to unscramble. Over the years, free jazz has tempered to some extent its revolutionary aspects, one example of ...

Album Review

Tobias Meinhart: The Painter

Read "The Painter" reviewed by Friedrich Kunzmann

During the past decade of working the jazz clubs of New York, German tenor saxophonist Tobias Meinhart has soaked up every inch of the musical tradition he started pursuing as a drummer in Bavaria in his early teens. A keen ear for melodic development, a gift for harmonic oversight and the whims for rhythmic intricacy already graced the saxophonist's last outing, Berlin People (Sunnyside, 2018), featuring the distinctive playing of Kurt Rosenwinkel. On The Painter, however, Meinhart has now also ...

Album Review

Nir Felder: II

Read "II" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

Six years after the release of his solo debut, Golden Age (Okeh, 2014), Nir Felder's follow-up II brings into sharper focus some of the guitarist's more compelling dichotomies as a player. His instrument of choice is the usually more crystalline-sounding Stratocaster but Felder somehow elicits a fatter-than-a-big-ol'-jazz-box tone from it. His style as a soloist has way more in common with Jim Hall than Jimi Hendrix but he more often favors flailing big ringing open-stringed or power ...


Matt Penman: Down on James Farm

Read "Matt Penman: Down on James Farm" reviewed by R.J. DeLuke

Matt Penman and his bass have inhabited a variety of musical places and spaces in recent years, all of them on a very high level. That speaks to his abilities on his instrument, and his adaptability to diverse situations. He of the fluid hands, rich sound and steady, melodic pulse always comes through. That's why he's performed with Joshua Redman's Double Quartet and the SFJAZZ Collective. He's also elevated the musical projects of Joe Lovano, John Scofield, Kurt Rosenwinkel and ...

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Fresh Sound Records Releases "The Unquiet" by Double Bassist Matt Penman

Fresh Sound Records Releases "The Unquiet" by Double Bassist Matt Penman

Source: All About Jazz

Matt Penman, 27, started his musical endeavors at the age of 6 when his mother, a classical piano teacher, deemed him mature enough to cope with the inherent difficulties of a parent-child teaching situation. She was of course wrong and spent the next 10 years discovering this. Not a very rewarding period for Mrs Penman but one in which she may well look back on with rosy-tinted nostalgia in light of Matt’s later achievements. It was during this period that ...

“Penman brought out the bottom of the music in a way of which bassists rarely conceive” —David Miller, All About Jazz

“He can set up the most powerful of grooves” —Sebastian Scotney, LondonJazz Blog



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson


Dot Time Records


Not the Same River

Hypnote Records



Not on Label


Swings & Roundabouts

Thick Records



OA2 Records


The Painter

Sunnyside Records



From: Heartbeat
By Matt Penman

Probably More Than Two

From: Not the Same River
By Matt Penman



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