Known for being, “greatly sensitive, with huge ears and a feel for accompaniment (All About Jazz),” bassist/composer Matt Aronoff celebrates his leap from sideman to bandleader in his debut album Morning Song
(TBR 06.03.22). Recorded in 2018 in front of a live audience at The Nest, Morning Song
serves as the culmination of Aronoff’s weekly, late-night jam session in Brooklyn. A highly sought-after acoustic and electric bassist, Aronoff is joined by some of today’s most compelling voices: saxophonist Jason Rigby
, pianist Yago Vazquez
, and drummer Henry Cole
Dedicated to his father, Aronoff began writing these compositions shortly after he learned of his father’s cancer diagnosis. From uncertainty, fear and disappointment to acceptance, serenity and joy, the composer’s myriad of emotions can be heard on each track. “I wanted to create a juxtaposition of peacefulness with unrest and jovial melodies up against unstable harmonies and structure,” explains Aronoff. Not surprisingly, Aronoff gravitated towards his bandmates—Jason Rigby, Yago Vazquez, and Henry Cole—who also take a holistic, Zen-like approach to their craft.Morning SongBass Interlude
, a three-minute patient, melodic and virtuosic piece linking El De Lun and Hodgman.
Hodgman is an ambulatory and meditative piece that was inspired by the minimalistic approach of Steve Reich
’s Four Organs and the loquacious, “windy-road" approach of writer/comedian John Hodgman. The band patiently builds in intensity using the songs irregular bar lengths and harmonic resolutions to always keep the listener on the edge. June 25th was composed with the intention of using the contrasting ideas of a somewhat quirky ostinato bass line under dense harmony and a rather playful melody. Rigby’s and Vazquez’s solos truly shine as Aronoff and Cole’s rhythmic connection constantly stir the pot. The album’s closer Blue Quokka is an up-tempo blues named after the playful yet mischievous Australian wallaby aka the world’s happiest animal.
About Matt Aronoff
Bassist and composer Matt Aronoff grew up in Northern New Jersey. Matt played saxophone and trumpet throughout his childhood, but was always drawn to the bass. At 17 he found an upright bass in the high school music room and was able to use it; as long as he sang in the choir. While studying with Jonathan Storck of the NJ Symphony and jazz bassist John Webber
, he earned a scholarship to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh
, PA. While in Pittsburgh, he studied with Pittsburgh Symphony double bassist Anthony Bianco and saxophonist Eric Kloss, both of whom became important mentors, musically and personally.
After a brief stint in Spain (while under the tutelage of great Spanish bassist Francisco Fernandez), he returned to the states where he was awarded a scholarship to attend Manhattan School of Music. Upon graduation, he immediately hit the road with his former professor and Grammy-winning vocalist Luciana Souza
, touring her album, The New Bossa Nova
(Verve Records, 2007). Since that time, Aronoff has been deeply involved in the New York music scene being praised for his, “musicianship at the highest level, paired with an incredibly emotional connection with the crowd” (Jazz Advocate). To date, he has had the pleasure of playing, touring or recording with musicians including Fred Hersch
, Kenny Werner
, Peter Eldridge
, New York Voices
, Banda Magda
, Sara Gazarek
, Remy LeBeouf
’s Assembly of Shadows, Duchess
, Numinous Ensemble, Anat Cohen
, Bob Lanzetti
and Zach Brock
(Snarky Puppy) in addition to performers such as Alan Cumming, Sandra Bernhard and Ana Gasteyer. When he isn’t on the road, he is a Teaching Artist through Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute.
Album Release Concert
Saturday, June 4, 2022, at 8:00 p.m. ESTThe Owl
497 Rogers Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11225
Trains: B/Q/S to Prospect Park, 2/5 to Sterling Street
Tix: $12 suggested per person. No advanced reservations. First come, first served. For more information, please call 718.774.0042 or visit TheOwl.nyc.