Dmitri Matheny arrived in the North West with his flugelhorn less than ten years ago. Now, from his home base in Centralia, Matheny has become an important member of the Puget Sound area’s jazz scene. His new album “Cascadia” pays homage to his new community, and KNKX welcomed Matheny and his quintet for an exclusive performance at our Seattle studios.
Matheny’s beautiful lyrical tone on his “big horn” is matched by a talent for songwriting and a knack for turning tired pop songs into melodic journeys of discovery. During his last visit to KNKX, his band brightened up the Carpenters hit “Close to You.” Matheny brings a new arrangement to Glen Campbell’s chart-topping “Wichita Lineman,” a favorite of his father who died during the pandemic.
Some of the Northwest’s finest jazz musicians also joined Matheny on a pair of original songs. Jay Thomas has played saxophone with Bill Anschell, Phil Sparks and Mark Ivester on piano, bass and drums.
Matheny’s “Evergreen Girl” for his darling Sassy is a swinging hardbop piece in the mold of his mentor Art Farmer. “Bourdain” was written for chef, traveler, and “xenophobe-era xenophile” Anthony Bourdain, and features Mark Ivester playing drums with and without drumsticks to great effect.
Matheny hinted at a Brazilian music duo project with guitarist John Stowell, but told studio session host Abe Beeson, “It’s not quite done yet.” For now, Matheny continues to celebrate “Cascadia” and its jazz community.
1) Evergreen Girl
3) Wichita Lineman