A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Rafiq for Jazz Speaks

2012 is barely underway, but we’ll be presenting the first Jazz Gallery Residency Commissions concert of the year on Friday. Matt Brewer will be the first of the four bassist-composers selected for our “Leading From the Bass” initiative to premiere the new work that he composed during his residency period.

You may remember that we checked in with Matt on the first day of his residency (read more here). I also dropped by The Gallery to speak with Matt on the last day of his run in our space. By then, Matt had completed new music for a sextet featuring the dual saxophone stylings of Steve Lehman (alto) and Kyle Wilson (tenor), along with Adam Rogers (guitar), Aaron Parks (piano), and Tommy Crane (drums). In particular, he was excited about a new, longer piece, as well as several shorter sketches still in development. Matt said that he had been moving away from the convention of writing AABA-type melodies – “which can be great, but which we do all of the time” – enveloping improvisations in more intricate composed sections.

While Matt previously enumerated the merits of having time and space to create new material, he added this time that the residency had inspired him to compose outside of the time spent at The Gallery: “Even when I’m at home, I’m writing more.” He also found himself taking some of his time in our space to explore the drum set:

The better I get at simple drumming, the more solid I feel as a musician in general. I’ll just try to practice keeping the ride cymbal together, like, ‘can I play a simple ride cymbal pattern?’ Just to make something simple feel good. It’s really basic, but it’s nice to have a place to bash in!

We close with a couple of recommendations from Matt:

Roy Haynes‘ work with Lester Young in the late 1940’s (which can be found on The Complete Savoy Recordings)

Chambers Street Wines: “Walk into Chambers Street Wines and ask for anything. That’s my favorite shop; pretty much every bottle that’s in there is there because the owner really likes it and believes in the producer. They are really into small production, artisanal wines.”