Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Modern Art of Mat Mathews

Throughout his career, Mat Mathews fought an uphill battle to get the accordion accepted in bop-oriented jazz. He learned to play music during the Nazi occupation, and after the war ended, Mathews was inspired to play jazz when he heard a radio broadcast of Joe Mooney. He worked locally in Holland including most notably with the Millers from 1947-50. After moving to New York in 1952, he put together a quartet that for a time featured (and introduced) the young Herbie Mann on flute and tenor. Mathews' other sidemen included Art Farmer, Julius Watkins, Joe Puma, Oscar Pettiford, Percy Heath and Kenny Clarke. In addition to making records as a leader, Mathews also recorded with Carmen McRae from 1954-55. By the end of the decade he was mostly working as a studio musician, and in 1964 Mathews returned to the Netherlands. His importance to jazz greatly lessened as he has primarily worked in the studios as a player, arranger and producer, but Mathews' performances in the 1950s made a strong case for the accordion in jazz. Mathews recorded as a leader for the Dutch Van Wouw label (four titles in 1944), Brunswick (1953-54), Dawn (1956), Savoy (a 1957 date with four French horn players), Verve (live at Newport in 1957), JJM, Design and, back in the Netherlands, Ariola (1975).
Scott Yanow

Source :

Mat Mathews
The Modern Art of Jazz


1 Not So Sleepy (Mathews)  6:40
2 Now See How You Are (Harris, Pettiford)  3:11
3 The Puritan (Mathews)  3:40
4 As Time Goes By (Hupfield)  3:47
5 What a Diff'rence a Day Made (Grever, Adams)  3:17
6 Summertime (Gershwin, Heyward)  2:20
7 Knights at the Castle (Katz)  5:37
8 How Deep Is the Ocean (Berlin)  2:14
9 I Only Have Eyes for You (Warren, Dubin)  3:25
10 Later On (Mathews)  2:26
11 Humoresque (Dvorak)  2:35
12 Flamingo (Grouya, Anderson)  1:35


Mat Mathews - ac
Art Farmer - tp
Julius Watkins - flghr
Gigi Gryce - as
Herbie Mann - fl & ts
Dick Katz - p
Joe Puma - g
Oscar Pettiford - b & cel
Kenny Clarke - dr

Recorded in New York City ; July 17 & 18, 1956

(See the complete artwork, for all details)


swingingduck said...

Oh, is everything ok with my eyesight? Am I hallucinating or I really see what I see? I must be dreamin'...
What else can I say that hasn't already been said by the others?
This place is like jazz academy. You are professor and we readers are students. Every new post is a another lesson which should be learned with joy and gratitude.
Thank you very much for running this sanctuary and keeping this amazing tradition alive.

rapidlydone said...

OK, time for me to leave a comment here. I know it's not nice, but I usually just leech and ... run.

I can't shake the feeling that we must have met some place on the Net, on one of the various forums around, your impeccable taste and all. :)

I am totally indebted to you for filling in some gaps in my collection by posting a whole range of (obscure is not the right term here) rare nuggets that are just damn difficult to either get hold of ... or pay for.

See, I'm someone who likes to sample stuff before I buy it (it used to be different, but I've gotten burned one too many times with crummy releases) and - I hope this motivates you to keep it up - I've spent a shitload of money getting hold of many a release you've featured here. Downloaded it, liked it, bought it.

You're doing a great service for nutty collectors like me who can never have enough splendid music.

OK, I'll run and hide again.

Thanks, man!

Anonymous said...

Amazing!! I'm speechless. And Like You Great Jazz Lover. Keep Up The Good Work!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is classic!
Thank You, Mel!
If only somehow the accordion could be removed from track 2--then it would be an Oscar Pettiford bass solo! (Klook and O.P. are my favorite jazz rhythm section.)

grumpy said...

Serendipity - an amazing share!
Thank you, Melanchthon

Otis Foster said...

Go away for two weeks, and see what Mel hath wrought! This one is truly out of the past (pace Mitchum and Greer). And in lossless, too.

Mel, you are a phenom, no question about it. As always, my immense gratitude for this and other shares.

2bad said...

Man, this is great. Flac, too!
He was the only guy who played real bebop on the accordion. Finding his stuff is like a needle in a haystack.

Melanchthon said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
alexandre clement said...

Sorry but I changed my machine and now I have loose the password. Can you give me again ?

rob 60 said...

the links are expired, please help me thanks Rob60

Melanchthon said...

flyra said...

I cannot find a donation button!

deGallo said...

Great post! Thank you.

Historicus said...

Thanks a lot!

Nathalie Bourgaud said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AmyBRAINS said...

It's a very nice album.
Thanks a lot, Melanchthon.

Jazzsoulman said...

Thank You

Kovina Kris said...

Wow. Yet another interesting post with an amazing lineup. Thank you Mel!