Matt Booth Quartet – 10.8.13 – Thunderbird Cafe, Pittsburgh, PA

Matt Booth – bass
Sean Jones – trumpet
Chris Parker – guitar
Dave Throckmorton – drums

It’s been a little while since my last post.  It’s also been a few weeks since I’ve gone to the T-Bird for a Space Exchange night.  Neither are due to lack of interest.  All day yesterday I was thinking that, if time permitted, I might be able to make it down to see Matt Booth‘s Quartet. Then around dinner time, when I got a text message with the lineup, I knew I couldn’t miss it.

Being somewhat of a regular of the Space Exchange Series, I expected Parker and Throck to be part of Booth’s group.  What I never would have guessed is that they would be joined by trumpeter Sean Jones.  I’ve seen Jones play at the Interval jazz night over at Ava in East Liberty a few years ago, so I’m not totally shocked to see him play on a weeknight, at a somewhat mildly attended, free show, but again, I was surprised.  He just strikes me as the suit wearing, crowd pleasing, big money type of musician.  But that is in no way an insult or a put down.  Dude can blow! Seriously. You do not get asked to be the lead trumpet in the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra by Wynton Marsalis if you are anything less than incredible.

So, again, I was excited to see this lineup.  All of these guys are great musicians, but I had no idea what it would sound like.  I’d say that of all of the Space Exchange shows I’ve been to, this one was right up there as being one of the most clear cut “jazz” shows.  That’s not to say the music wasn’t dynamic or exploratory, it just really felt like a jazz show.  The set featured some burners as well as some of the most delicate and beautiful pieces I’ve ever heard played in a “bar”.  Overall, it was a cool show. I couldn’t quite stay til the end, but I did make it into the second set long enough to hear their take on Thelonious Monk’s “Brilliant Corners”.



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