The current quartet: Paul Carlon, Eric Zolan, Matt Kane, Adrian Morning just played a great show at the Hat City Kitchen, playing a string a new originals by Matt, the group will be in the studio before the year is out to record a new album of all original MK tunes. So, stay tuned!
Matt remembers: "In college, I met a trumpet player named Bob Glick. He was the best musician in the jazz program and I spent a lot of time with Bob listening to records and playing as much as I possibly could with him. This winter I had the chance to record Bob, so I called KC heavies, Roger Wilder and Bob Bowman to round out the session. The result was exceeded my expectations and we will meet up again in 2017 to finish the record and I can't wait to get it out there for people to hear Bob Glick!"
Each year the board of directors of Alaadeen Enterprises, Inc. recognizes excellence in jazz education and artistic excellence in jazz performance by bestowing The Alaadeen Awards of Excellence upon worthy recipients. In 2016, Matt Kane was chosen for this award. The award was given to Matt by Fanny Alaadeen at the Green Lady Jazz Club in Kansas City in December 2016. Past recipients are Clarence Smith, Kevin Mahogany, Najee and Bobby Watson.
the MK Trio will be performing dates thru the Fall:
October 1 @ Dukes's Southern Kitchen, Newark
November 12 @ the Bar Next Door, NYC
November 13 @ the Pilesner Haus in Hoboken
November 26th @ The Hat City Kitchen (MK School of Drumming students to be featured)
December 10 @ Bar Next Door, NYC, with Paul Carlon Trio
Late December dates in St. Louis and Kansas City in the works...
An alumni of the MK School of Drumming, Jacob Hausman, recently made the TCNJ Big Band! Jacob studied hard all summer, working on his chart reading and jazz knowledge, and it paid off well for him. Jacob went for it, and he got it! Congratulations!
Matt will be teaching drum lessons at Newark Academy on Thursdays starting in September 2016. Special thanks to Julius Tolentino who has created a musical culture which produces great young players. If you are interested in studying with Matt at Newark Academy, please contact Julius Tolentino at this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt will be on staff at the 2016 Newark Academy Jazz Camp with director Julius Tolentino who also teaches at Jazz House Kids. Mr. Tolentino studied with the great Jackie McClean and brings a great depth of knowledge to his program. His bands are always top notch. Here's the official release info:
JTole Jazz Academy / Grades 7-12
The JTole Jazz Academy is taught by a prestigious faculty of world-class jazz musicians. In order to create a balanced ensemble ready for performance, students must audition for entrance into the two-week camp. In addition to master classes and visiting artists, faculty will play with student groups providing young musicians with top-notch instruction and invaluable real-world experience. Students who wish to enroll in the Jazz Academy should contact Julius Tolentino at email@example.com for information concerning auditions.
Instructor: Julius Tolentino, Newark Academy, Arts Department, Jazz
July 11- July 22; Concert on July 22
1:00 - 6:00 pm
Seeing is believing. The new CD, "Acknowledgement" made it's debut recently at #19 on the CMJ jazz charts. The album features: Ben Leifer, bass. Michael Shults, alto. Steve Lambert, tenor. Hermon Mehari, trumpet. Andrew Ouellette, piano.
April 14, 2016
Media Alert: Matt Kane And The KC Generations Sextet – “Acknowledgement” (Bounce-Step) Street Date: 03/04/2016
Matt Kane-drums, Ben Leifer-bass, Andrew Ouellette-piano, Michael Shults-alto saxophone, Hermon Mehari-trumpet, Steve Lambert-tenor saxophone
CD Review: http://www.audaud.com/matt-kane-the-kansas-city-generations-sextet-acknowledgement-bounce-step/
Matt Kane & the Kansas City Generations Sextet – Acknowledgement – Bounce-StepDrummer Matt Kane proves that, yes, you can go home again.
Matt Kane & the Kansas City Generations Sextet – Acknowledgement [TrackList follows] – Bounce-Step 88295524038, 64:10 [3/4/16] ****:
(Matt Kane – drums; Ben Leifer – bass; Andrew Ouellette – piano; Michael Shults – alto saxophone; Hermon Mehari – trumpet; Steve Lambert – tenor saxophone)
Author Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You can’t go back home.” The phrase has entered the American vernacular as a metaphor for how it’s impossible to return to one’s childhood; how memory rose-colors our past into nostalgia; and how it is sometimes not possible to realize how things change. But, in fact, people can “go back home” if they embrace the past and how it affects the present and future, and understand the difference between what was and what is.
That idea is an inspiration for drummer Matt Kane’s latest project, the 64-minute Acknowledgement. Kane is based in New York City, but was born in Hannibal, MO and studied jazz at the University of Missouri–Kansas City, before relocating to NYC. He never forgot his roots, and when he felt he was ready and had the concept he wanted, he returned to where he began. The result is nine tracks performed by Kane and a new sextet which comprises musicians who have gone through the UMKC Conservatory of Music. Kane’s objective was simple: exhibit appreciation for previous Kansas City talents; provide recognition for upcoming Kansas City jazz artists; and in the process, showcase mighty-fine, up-swinging jazz. All of the tunes were penned by jazz musicians who are or were linked to the KC jazz community: three by saxophonist Bobby Watson (the director of jazz studies at the UMKC Conservatory of Music); three by guitarist Pat Metheny (born and raised in Lee’s Summit, MO, a suburb southeast of Kansas City); and three by Ahmad Alaadeen (born in KC and passed in 2010; he was a longtime member of the Kansas City jazz scene). The young, gifted ensemble, dubbed the Kansas City Generations Sextet, has pianist Andrew Ouellette and alto saxophonist Michael Shults (both from Hannibal) alongside additional Kansas City players, Ben Leifer (upright bass), Steve Lambert (tenor saxophone) and Hermon Mehari (trumpet).
The material is well chosen and well-rounded, from traditional-based arrangements to modern influences. Metheny’s tracks are all outstanding. Kane wisely did not choose necessarily familiar ones. This isn’t the first time Kane has covered Metheny; Kane recorded Metheny’s “John McKee” on Kane’s 2013 CD, Suit Up! Metheny’s “Timeline (for Elvin)” was initially on Michael Brecker’s Time Is of the Essence(1999), which Metheny guested on. The number is a tribute to Elvin Jones, the late drummer who was in John Coltrane’s group. “Timeline (for Elvin)” is tight, bop-ish music with lots of horn contributions from trumpet and both saxes. Kane’s mellifluous rhythmic flow brings to mind Art Blakey. The lengthiest cut is the 11:34 interpretation of Metheny’s “Midwestern Nights Dream” (found on Metheny’s 1976 debut, Bright Size Life). Kane’s version is almost twice as long as Metheny’s. It dispenses with Metheny’s electric impulses (no guitar, no electric bass) and maintains the lovely, prairie-inclined deportment which Metheny presented, akin to watching miles and miles of pastures and fences slide by outside a moving train. Kane and his sextet also have a light-hearted magic on Metheny’s “Question and Answer” (the title track from Metheny’s 1989 LP). The original was a trio setting. Kane and his band open up the arrangement. The piano adds to the rhythmic possibilities, the different saxes bring in coloring, and Leifer’s stirring bass solo is a beautiful enhancement.
Watson’s compositions are also wonderful. The CD begins with the upbeat, upfront “In Case You Missed It,” which Watson’s former employer, Art Blakey, occasionally performed. Kane and Leifer keep the pace jaunty, and there is some impressive horn interaction and memorable solos. “Wheel Within a Wheel” is another bang-up, post-bop Watson track from his days in Blakey’s band, with driving horn improvisations. The gem is Watson’s pellucid ballad, “Jewel,” (the title track from his 1981 record) which is arranged differently, as a sax/piano duet, and for the better. There is picturesque interplay between horn and keyboards, and the lyrical quality means this piece is one which bears repeated listening. The least known material is probably Alaadeen’s music. Kane is a huge fan. He had a couple of Alaadeen pieces on Suit Up! Here, Kane arranges Alaadeen’s “The Burning Sand” (from his 2005 CD, New Africa Suite), which Alaadeen furnished in a time-honored streak. Kane’s translation has a more contemporary stance, with a three-horn set-up, a faster rhythmic tempo, and another sublime Leifer solo. Alaadeen’s “And the Beauty of it All” (which dates from 2007) is a smoky ballad where Kane highlights cymbals and lightly rolling toms; the saxes percolate with improvised aplomb; and the bass and piano layer some sympathetic cadences.
There are few jazz albums issued so far this year with this much to offer—an introduction to emerging musicians worth attention; music which deserves further respect and belongs in more jazz collections; and a project which resourcefully blends jazz past with jazz present. Yeah, you can go home again.
TrackList: In Case You Missed It; Timeline (for Elvin); The Burning Sand; ASR; And the Beauty of it All; Wheel Within a Wheel; Midwestern Nights Dream; Jewel; Question and Answer.
Recently the MK Quintet performed a dynamic set at the Edison District Jazz Festival to an enthusiastic crowd of young jazz bands.
Two Matt Kane School of Drumming Students, Anish Soni (left) and Jacob Hausman (right) both performed with the JP Stevens Lab Jazz ensemble.