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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

Photo by Caterina Di Perri, courtesy of the artist

Photo by Caterina Di Perri, courtesy of the artist

The Jazz Gallery is back from its holiday hiatus, and so to kick off 2015 in style, the Gallery is proud to present pianist Matt Mitchell’s quartet in their Gallery debut.

A native of Philadelphia, Mitchell has established himself over the past several years as one of jazz’s indispensable sidemen, acting as the harmonic glue in groups like Tim Berne’s Snakeoil and the Dave Douglas Quintet. But even after gaining notice in the New York Times in 2011—critic Ben Ratliff named him one of four pianists on the rise—he only released his debut album as a leader in 2013. The result, a duo record with percussionist Ches Smith called Fiction (Pi), was critically acclaimed, landing in NPR’s 2013 Jazz Critic Poll. Writing in PopMatters, Will Layman notes that the music is “…fun stuff:  a playground of rhythms and energy that never ceases to be inventive. There is a dancing quality to most of this music that is near irresistible.”

It seems that it’s high time for Mitchell to release a followup, and the good news is that one is in the works. After playing at the Gallery on Tuesday, Mitchell and his quartet—featuring close associates Chris Speed on saxophone and clarinet, Chris Tordini on bass, and Dan Weiss on drums—will head into the studio and put their music to tape. Their appearance at the Gallery promises to be a special night, a chance to hear Mitchell’s music—”…highly detailed, full of terse harmonic frictions and oblong rhythmic constructions,” writes Nate Chinen of the New York Times—grow and come alive on the bandstand. What better way is there to ring in the new year?

The Matt Mitchell Quartet performs this Tuesday, January 6, 2014, at The Jazz Gallery. The band features Mitchell on piano, Chris Speed on tenor saxophone and clarinet, Chris Tordini on bass, and Dan Weiss on drums. Sets are at 8 and 10 p.m., $15 general admission ($10 for Members) for the first set, $10 general admission ($8 for Members) for the second. Purchase tickets here.