Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

353

Take Five With Matt Stevens

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Meet Matt Stevens:
Matt Stevens is a musician and composer from North London. An instrumental artist, he uses an acoustic guitar and a sampler to create multi-layered tracks live. This is often called Live Looping. His music is compared with artists as diverse as John McLaughlin and Sigur Ros. He plays live all over the UK. Last year saw the release of Echo, his well received debut album.

He composed for short films, (including the award winning Daddy's Little Helper), and his live work is often compared to watching a one man guitar orchestra or wall of sound.

He performs for people from all over the world using www.Ustream.TV

Instrument(s):
Guitars and loops.

Teachers and/or influences?
Richard Beaumont—genius guitarist very much in the Allan Holdsworth/McLaughlin mould. Brilliant.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I heard Guns N Roses!!!

Your sound and approach to music:
I use a looper pedal to build semi-improvised compositions using an acoustic guitar. I focus on composition over technique. I'm looking for instant composition based on improvisation. It's somewhere between post rock/jazz/folk and soundtracks.

Your teaching approach:
To give them the confidence to develop an original voice through knowledge of theory and technique.

Your dream band:
I want to play with people who I am friends with and I have a relationship with so that you can look at somebody and change the nature of the improvisation. People who listen to each other!

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
Playing Thrash metal in a restaurant to evening diners. Oh dear.

Favorite venue:
Cargo in London is great—excellent open minded music policy.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
I like Moondial which is on my forthcoming second album. It's got glockenspiel and live drums and I like the chord inversions and the way it builds.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Mahavishnu Orchestra, Birds Of Fire.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
That's not for me to say but I am very proud of the community I have built around my music. It's been a real word of mouth thing and the podcasters, bloggers and listeners who have supported me have been amazing.

Did you know...
I used to be in a thrash metal band.

CDs you are listening to now:
Portico Quartet, Knee Deep In The North Sea;
Radiohead, In Rainbows.

Desert Island picks:
Mahavishnu Orchestra, Birds Of Fire;
Carcass, Nercrotisim;
King Crimson, Red;
John Coltrane, Giant Steps;
The Beatles, Abbey Road.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
The retro people are trying to keep it the same, which goes against everything Miles Davis and McLaughlin, etc., stood for. There are some interesting artists but it's few and far between.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Progression—look at Polar Bear and Portico Quartet, that's the future not the regressive '50s nonsense.

What is in the near future?
Playing festivals this summer in the UK and releasing a new album. I'm also posting a new song every week from my archive at www.mattstevensguitar.com—52 songs!!!

By Day:
Music based stuff.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
some other kind of musician. Possibly Metal!

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Take Five with Q Morrow Take Five With...
Take Five with Q Morrow
by Q Morrow
Published: November 6, 2018
Read Take Five with Wataru Uchida Take Five With...
Take Five with Wataru Uchida
by Wataru Uchida
Published: September 26, 2018
Read Take Five with Tony Kofi Take Five With...
Take Five with Tony Kofi
by Tony Kofi
Published: July 31, 2018
Read Take Five with Alex Lefaivre Take Five With...
Take Five with Alex Lefaivre
by Alex Lefaivre
Published: July 24, 2018
Read Take Five with Isaiah Stewart Take Five With...
Take Five with Isaiah Stewart
by Isaiah Stewart
Published: July 18, 2018
Read Take Five with Francisco Quintero Take Five With...
Take Five with Francisco Quintero
by Francisco Quintero
Published: May 19, 2018
Read "Take Five with Andrew Kushnir" Take Five With... Take Five with Andrew Kushnir
by Andrew Kushnir
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "Take Five with Wataru Uchida" Take Five With... Take Five with Wataru Uchida
by Wataru Uchida
Published: September 26, 2018
Read "Take Five with Mark Haskins" Take Five With... Take Five with Mark Haskins
by Mark Haskins
Published: April 17, 2018
Read "Take Five with Myriam Phiro" Take Five With... Take Five with Myriam Phiro
by Myriam Phiro
Published: March 2, 2018
Read "Take Five with Tat Yoshinaga" Take Five With... Take Five with Tat Yoshinaga
by Tat Yoshinaga
Published: February 28, 2018
Read "Take Five with Q Morrow" Take Five With... Take Five with Q Morrow
by Q Morrow
Published: November 6, 2018