Blues for Wayne Video

The final Wild Flower Sextet video from our session in July has now been edited and uploaded, so go check it out at

I’m looking forward to rehearsing with the band next Tuesday and getting all the material together for our first gigs in the New Year – 6/1 Pave, Hull and 24/2 7arts, Leeds. More gigs to be announced soon!

The Perks of Being a Sideman

Tomorrow night I’m playing at HEART in Headingley with Jamie Taylor and his new quartet, following on from a weekend of appearing as part of Jiannis Pavlidis’ and Mark Donlon’s bands. A growing proportion of the gigs I’m doing are now as a sideman, which is a role I always wanted to play more often. Before the advent of jazz education and music college courses in jazz, pretty much the only way to learn the craft was for younger players to work with the older, more experienced ones, who would pass on their knowledge and skills and keep the music going. Since I am a product of the jazz education system, studying at Leeds College of Music, I was still a little uneasy going straight into leading my own bands without much of this experience of sideman work, so it’s wonderful to now be part of a few bands led by experienced players from an older generation.

The Jiannis Pavlidis Quintet is made up of Jiannis on guitar, Declan Forde (piano), Sam Vicary (double-bass), Sam Gardner (drums) and myself. Jiannis studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston and has toured and recorded with many world-renowned jazz artists such as Dave Liebman and Adam Nussbaum. We met through LCM where he is a lecturer. The quintet plays Jiannis’ original music which sounds to me quite influenced by late 60’s/70’s Miles (the groove stuff), with elements of Kurt Rosenwinkel, Dave Liebman, Steve Grossman, Mark Turner and Coltrane, and all based on the tradition of standards and swing.

Pianist Mark Donlon was another of my lecturers at LCM, and his quartet also features Simon Read (double-bass) and Sam Gardner (drums). Mark was based in London for many years before moving to Leeds, and has worked with a lot of top British Jazz players like Julian Siegel, Kenny Wheeler and Tim Garland. This quartet plays his original music from his latest album, ‘Kashasha,’ as well as some music by Simon, Sam and I, and has a bit more of a European flavour than the other bands.

Jamie Taylor was Course Leader when I was studying, so again it’s a real honour to be playing in his band. As well as Jamie on guitar, his quartet also includes heavy-weights Dave Walsh (drums) and Garry Jackson (double-bass), so it’s another great learning curve. The music is very much based in the American jazz tradition with an emphasis on original compositions by Jamie as well as some nicely arranged standards.

New sextet recordings online

I’ve made some recordings with my new sextet and they’re available online to listen. It’s an all-star line-up of Mark Chandler (tpt), Alex Munk (gtr), Jamil Sheriff (pno), Sam Vicary (bs) and Dave Walsh (dr) and myself on tenor.

J.G. (Matt Anderson):

Masqualero (Wayne Shorter):

Blues for Wayne (Matt Anderson):

Fall (Wayne Shorter):

Week of recordings

I’m very excited to be heading into the studio twice this week, firstly with my own group and secondly with one of my heroes from my student days, guitarist Jamie Taylor, who was one of my teachers at Leeds College of Music.

My own thing which we’re recording tomorrow is a new sextet celebrating Wayne Shorter with an all-star line-up – Mark Chandler, trumpet; Alex Munk, guitar; Jamil Sheriff, piano; Sam Vicary, double-bass and Dave Walsh, drums, as well as myself on tenor sax – and it’ll be a demo for us to start getting gigs and letting people know about the band. 2 of Wayne’s tunes and 2 of mine – will post it up here when it’s mixed and all of that.

And then on Thursday we’re recording and videoing a new 3-part suite by Jamie Taylor based around the blues form, which will again have Dave Walsh on drums but Garry Jackson on bass this time.

Live tracks from The Lescar, 16/5

New live tracks from our gig at the Lescar on the 16th May:

Sfumato and The Frozen Ocean are new tunes which were written specially for this tour. The first is an up-tempo burner with some 5/4 bars thrown in at the end of the form, and the second is a ballad inspired by the David Attenborough series ‘Frozen Planet’. The Song Thief was written as part of the Songs of the Ridings commission last summer.

May tour finishes in Whighams, Edinburgh

Sunday the 27th May saw the end of the Matt Anderson Quartet tour at the Whighams jazz club in Edinburgh. It’s been a great few weeks, well worth all the hard work organising the shows, writing the music, practicing and rehearsing. Big thanks firstly to the band, Aubin Vanns, Sam Gardner and John Marley, who worked hard on the material and sounded consistently amazing throughout the tour. And secondly, to the promoters and others who gave us places to perform and helped out along the way – Steve Shaw at Pave, Chris Walker at The Lescar, Claire Turner at Matt n’ Phreds, Adrian Tilbrook and Andy and Zoe Champion at The Bridge, Sam Leak and Hannes Riepler at Charlie Wright’s, Lesley Jefferies at HEART and Kevin Dorrian and Graeme Knox at Whighams.

I’m going to post up some material from a few of the different gigs like videos, photos and audio, starting with this video from Splinter @ The Bridge, Newcastle, of us playing the Bobby Timmons classic Moanin’:

Also, check out the review of the gig from Lance Liddle on his blog, Bebop Spoken Here:

And another review, this time of the second set: