“Steckler has tremendous concepts, sensational technique and a personal energy that can bathe you in light…” – Nippertown
With recording studios & venues closing down at record pace, many jazz musicians spent the last 12 months looking back on times when collaborating live was a regular occurrence.
For saxophonist & composer Matt Steckler (aka Matty Stecks), this included an 11-year period on the fertile Brooklyn jazz scene where he’d routinely enlist artists such as Dan Weiss, Gerald Cleaver & Tyshawn Sorey at the area’s most beloved homegrown venues including Barbés, Cornelia Street Cafe, Shapeshifter Lab…
The end of his time there was marked by a recording session at the legendary (and now defunct) Avatar Studio and the result – Night Cravings – is finally released in tribute.
Showcased in pristine sound, engineered and mixed by multi-Grammy-winner Katherine Miller and recently mastered by Pinch Recording engineer E. Scott Lindner, this iteration of Steckler’s Persiflage group features Curtis Hasselbring (tbn), Todd Neufeld (gtr), Dave Ambrosio (bs) and Satoshi Takeishi.
Musically, the musicians challenge the traditional conventions of a jazz quintet, whilst retaining the spirit of past trailblazing groups led by the likes of Ornette Coleman, Wayne Shorter, Keith Jarrett & Sonny Sharrock.
Steckler, an in-demand composer (with a Ph.D. in Composition from New York University and studies with Anthony Braxton, George Russell and Jim McNeely), says the album showcases the subtle interplays and details in both his writing and the ensemble itself.
He has an eight-album discography including releases on Ropeadope, Innova and Cuneiform Records, but describes Night Cravings as his most sublimely documented work on record.
As a leader Matty Stecks has released albums with projects Dead Cat Bounce (Innova, Cuneiform) and Musical Tramps (Ropeadope) – all to critical acclaim – and spent time in the Northeast USA and Canada (where he recently served as professor in jazz studies at Brandon University).
He has toured internationally, and collaborated with notable ensembles (Winnipeg Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Composers Alliance) and featured special guests (Joe Lovano, Gary Smulyan, Lonnie Plaxico and others).
With an original, research-based mindset in embodied composition, Steckler brings his dynamic, holistic approach to each musical experience.
On Persiflage (the 1st album) release:
“Steckler’s passionate delivery and splendidly warped sensibility make this… one of the best small group jazz discs of the past year.” – Nate Dorward, Exclaim!
Matty Stecks | saxophones & flute, compositions
Curtis Hasselbring | trombone
Todd Neufeld | guitar
Dave Ambrosio | bass
Satoshi Takeishi | drums & percussion
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