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Matt McErlean: Links

Jon's Jazz Corner

Bay Area Bassist Jon Randall's website features his performances, compositions, arrangements and perspectives on Bass – the LOWEST form of music. 

Jon and I go way back to the early 1980's in Manhattan at the Sounds of Joy Studios. We managed a few gigs in between rehearsal band performances.  Jon is currently is the bassist for the Berkely JazzSchool Big Band, in addition to leading smaller jazz ensembles in the Bay Area. 

Check out Jon's great compositions for Jazz Combo, Church Choir and Brazilian Combo and his feature arrangement; Brigas Nunca Mais, recorded by the Berkely JazzSchool Big Band.  I especially enjoy his recordings of Bop Delite, with small group (Greater Apple Jazz Quartet, 1986) and big band (Berkely JazzSchool Big Band, 2008) versions.

Jon is also the bassist (and composer/arranger) on several of the Matt McErlean & The Tasmanians: An Excuse To Play Jazz cuts.  His solid approach to composition and arranging reflect, I think, the 'proper' orientation to harmony...from the bottom up!  Bassists Rule!

Art Labriola

Art Labriola was the harmonic bedrock of the Matt McErlean Trio during our yearlong gig at Gregory's, a landmark jazz club on Manhattan's Upper East Side in the early 1980's.  We had some truly marvelous times at Gregory's plying our journey man trade and working through ostinado approaches to the jazz standard repetoire and improvision.

A native of Manhattan, Art went on to tour Europe and Asia as a pianist, keyboard player and musical director-- most notably with The Deep River Boys, an African American singing trio performing forgotten spirituals and obscure jazz pieces and The Elliot Murphy Band.

Art discovered the recording studio early and has made his career in film scoring, commercial recording and record production.  His hard work has won him a Grammy, an Emmy and a Clio award.  Art has worked with noted documentary film directors including Barbara Kopple, Joe Lovett, Rob Fruchtman, Lisa Jackson and Civia Tamarkin.  Art has worked and collaborated with Tom Pomposello with whom he also toured and co-created the group Oil Can.

Today he continues to perform, compose and produce music in his studio located in the scenic Hudson Valley.  Check out Art's website and his albums 'Silent Night' and 'Winter Day.'

Rex Makes a Drum

An engaging Youtube video by my friend and former fellow Dixieland jazz sideman from playing the streets of Manhattan, Rex Benincasa. a world-class percussionist, who stayed the course as a freelance musician in New York. 

Rex and I used to amuse ourselves in the early 1980's on non-gigging nights by playing our way through sets of bebop duets from one of the major publishing houses, although I can't remember the name...something that seems to happen more often lately.

Rex has since performed with The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the New Music Consort, Flamenco Latino, Carlota Santana Spanish Dance, Andrea DelConte Danza Espana, Pilar Rioja, the Grammy Orchestra, Amanecer Flamenco Progressivo, The Pittsburgh Ballet, The Sacramento Ballet, and the Merce Cummingham Dance Company. Rex has recorded albums and movie soundtracks for Christine Lavin, Foday Musa Suso, Philip Glass, Conversion, Sesame Street, NFL Films, The Sons of Sepharad and The Gerard Edery Ensemble.