WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING


Radiant
—Downbeat

Glowing
—JazzTimes

Criminally smooth
—Taos News

Unquestionably a master.
—JazzIz

A loving concern for fine detail.
—Los Angeles Times

A horn player of uncommon wit and power.
—Examiner.com

Understated, masterful technique and evident joy.
—JazzNews

A flugelhorn so cool it'll run a shiver through your martini.
—MetroActive

The first breakthrough flugelhornist since Chuck Mangione.
—San Jose Mercury News

A brass player who can limn slow-motion ballads without referencing Miles.
—Gary Giddins, Village Voice

Extravagantly, unashamedly, irresistibly pretty. A spirit voice that compels attention even when it whispers.
—Thomas Conrad, Stereophile 

A visionary. Matheny's flugelhorn is both hot and cool, wide of range and brilliantly imaginative.
—Phil Elwood, San Francisco Examiner

With his gift for soaring lyricism, Matheny plays jazz that's emotionally open but full of mystery.
—Andy Gilbert, SF Metropolitan

This is music to touch your heart. A warm pellucid sound that truly encapsulates the essence of jazz.
—Marian McPartland, Piano Jazz, National Public Radio

Matheny is among the vanguard of today's musicians who have helped propel the Bay Area jazz community onto the international scene.
—Seattle Post-Intelligencer


Matheny’s warm, engaging flugelhorn playing has thoroughly established him as one of the most emotionally expressive improvisers of his generation.
—Don Heckman, International Review of Music

ALBUQUERQUE ALIBI

Yeah, Dmitri Matheny is a black beret wearing, flugelhorn playing, jazz poet cliché—but he pulls it off sincerely and with a filmic sound straight out of the darkest and most complex '50s crime films while injecting spoken word that keeps the listener following the bouncing dot.
—Geoffrey Plant

The Dmitri Matheny Group is back with Penumbra, featuring a host of music inspired by the shimmering disk we call the Moon. Broad, airy and a little mysterious, the Matheny sound is complemented well by this celestial theme. Matheny's is a sound that won't be overshadowed.
—Benny Villalobos

After training under the eminent flugelhornist Art Farmer, renown has come for Matheny with the release of his debut CD, a collection of "sound paintings in jazz" that not only showcases Matheny's sculptural performance but also many of his own compositions. Red Reflections has quickly become one of the best selling releases on the Monarch label and has been praised by some as "the best jazz title of the year."
—Benny Villalobos

ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL

Grant & Matheny are equal partners. They accompany one another while improvising energetic solos over jazz standards, chamber music and African-American spirituals. They play spirited, swinging shout choruses just like a Big Band, but they never lose the warm intimacy of a classically trained duo. An exciting and satisfying performance.

ALBUQUERQUE TRIBUNE

Matheny's Hard Work Produces Silky Jazz
Listen to "Starlight Cafe," Matheny's latest album, and it will sound seductively familiar, like you've been listening to his ebony tones and molasses rhythms all your life. These are loose and easy tunes, liquid silky, and yet Matheny' s improvisations—with Darrell Grant on piano and Bill Douglas on bass—still press the limits of standards like "Stardust" and "When You Wish Upon a Star."

His third album is an intimate confection imbued with the warm delicacy, mellow lyricism and lazy elegance of a midnight jam session playing in another room. That fat sound which draws a line directly to mentor Farmer, moans wiith the expressiveness of a doomed chantuese...one of the best new artists on the jazz scene.
—T.D. Mobley-Martinez

ALL ABOUT JAZZ

Dmitri Matheny, Flugelhorn Evangelist (September 1, 2016)
One of Art Farmer's last private students and his most prominent protégé.
—David Becker


Dmitri Matheny: Starlight Café (November 1, 1998)
Dmitri Matheny seems on the verge of establishing himself as a major new jazz star. His third release on San Francisco's Monarch label may just put him over the top. The 34-year-old Nashville native, now a stalwart on the Bay Area jazz scene, is a velvety smooth player who favors the lyrical and poetic side of jazz over the fire and brimstone side championed by many of his contemporaries. His tone and overall approach bear the strong influence of his mentor, the impeccable Art Farmer. His ballad playing also recalls that of another master of California romanticism, Chet Baker. Matheny and his talented cohorts have made a highly enjoyable album of late-night jazz that proves you don't need to make a lot of noise to make a strong impression.
—Joel Roberts


Dmitri Matheny: Starlight Café (November 1, 1998)
The trio’s members form a cohesive seamless unit made up of equal parts soulful expression, caressing phrases, imaginative asides, and dedicated lyricism. A sensitive and expressive new voice on today’s jazz scene, Dmitri Matheny is preaching smooth sounds without losing sight of the quality in music. Recommended.
—Jim Santella


Monterey Jazz Festival (September 29, 2004)
Dmitri Matheny (flugelhorn) and Darrell Grant (piano) have played together for years, and it showed particularly on Bill Lee’s “Little Jimmy Fiddler” where they sometimes shared the lead or finished each other’s phrases during four-bar interchanges. Both players have refined their instrumental techniques to the essentials, and their music had a relaxed, uncomplicated sensibility that made it fun to listen to. Not surprisingly the audience loved them.
—Craig Jolley

Dmitri Matheny is an excellent flugelhornist whose style and sound are mellow and whose bop-based improvising is melodic.
—Scott Yanow

ALL MUSIC GUIDE

Penumbra: The Moon Sessions (Fall 1997)
Dmitri Matheny, the head of the Monarch label, is also an excellent flugelhornist. His style and sound (softened by his decision to play flugelhorn rather than trumpet) are mellow and his bop-based improvising is fairly melodic. For this date, he performs a variety of songs that have “moon” in their title. Matheny utilizes his regular group, a pianoless quintet with tenor-saxophonist Dave Ellis (formerly with Charlie Hunter), guitarist John Heller, bassist Bill Douglass and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Produced by veteran Orrin Keepnews (for whom “Moon Rocks” was subtitled “Keepnews Blues”), the emphasis is generally on slower tempos although there is enough variation to keep one’s interest. Matheny contributed three pieces (including three-part “Moon Song Trinity”) and there are also pieces by Tom Harrell, Lee Morgan (“Desert Moonlight”), Neil Young, a traditional Chinese melody (“Autumn Moon”) and the standard “Moonlight In Vermont.” An added touch is the inclusion of Rob Burger’s accordion on the tangoish “Sea Of Tranquility” (the first part of “Moon Song Trinity”). Matheny’s light tone blends well throughout with Ellis’ slightly heavier sound. This “sleeper” is well worth investigating, both for the fine solos and the fresh material.
—Scott Yanow

Dmitri Matheny's recording career got off to an impressive start with his highly introspective debut album, Red Reflections. One could hear the influence of Chet Baker, Art Farmer and Miles Davis in Matheny's playing, but while the flugelhornist clearly admires their lyricism, it's also obvious that he's very much his own man. Except for Michael Brecker's "Take a Walk" and Horace Silver's "The Outlaw," Red Reflections emphasizes Matheny's own compositions, which include the complex "Myth of the Rainy Night," the contemplative "Like a River," and the evocative title song. Another high point of this pianoless date is "Sketch," an impressionistic, cerebral number that recalls Davis' mid-1960s output. This is an excellent album that is as cerebral as it is rewarding.
—Alex Henderson

Flügelhornist Dmitri Matheny's Christmas jazz album mostly features his regular group (with Kenny Brooks on tenor and soprano, guitarist Brad Buethe, pianist Darrell Grant, bassist Ruth Davies, and drummer Jason Lewis), although various numbers also feature the French horn of Mark Taylor; Rob Burger on accordion; and vocals by Paula West, Clairdee, and Brenda Boykins (who is a bit annoying on "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch"). Other than the latter piece, the performances all work quite well. Highlights include happy versions of such songs as "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," "Winter Wonderland," and "Let It Snow." The closing "The Christmas Song" is taken as a brief, unaccompanied flügelhorn solo. A recommended acquisition for one's Christmas jazz collection.
—Scott Yanow

Flugelhornist Dmitri Matheny is a jazz treasure. The lyrical Matheny, whose influences include Chet Baker, Art Farmer, and Miles Davis, has impressive chops, but it's his warmth and soulfulness that win you over.
—Alex Henderson

AMERICAN JAZZ COUNTDOWN

I have followed Dmitri's music career closely. With the release of each new CD, as his notoreity has grown, so has his heart. As the parent of a young jazz trumpeter, I'm impressed by the commitment the Dmitri Matheny Group has shown to music education. And as the son of one who defined the genre, I'm encouraged that the future of jazz is in such good hands.
—Clifford Brown, Jr.

ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Jazz romantics, this is your night. There is no greater lover of enchanting melodies than flugelhorn artist Dmitri Matheny, who has recorded 10 albums and developed an international reputation for a warm, dark tone and soaring lyricism shaped by his masterful technique.
—Chuck Graham

Known for his warm tone, soaring lyricism and masterful technique, flugelhorn artist Dmitri Matheny searches for poignant moments of jazz noir with four fellow explorers in the Dmitri Matheny Group.
—Chuck Graham

ARIZONA REPUBLIC | AZ CENTRAL

Along with a crew of some of the San Francisco Bay Area's most cutting-edge players, Matheny pulled off a set of chilled-out meditative sounds that engage the listener...a shadow world of alluring mystery and captivating intrigue. A true artist.
—Mark Keresman

ASPEN TIMES

Dmitri Matheny is a damn good flugelhorn player.
—Stewart Oksenhorn

AXS

Seductively dark, Matheny’s playing captures that wild, dangerous spirit. 
—Carol Banks Weber

Thank bebop master, the late Art Farmer, for the masterful path Dmitri Matheny took early on in his jazz career. Farmer recognized in Matheny — initially a trumpeter — a spark for the “big horn,” and an ability to take it farther than most. After performing in Carnegie Hall at 29, the flugelhornist began to take on the jazz world on his terms. He’s able to make music in any field, jazz, sacred work (Spiritu Sancto), film scores and soundtracks (Shade with Jamie Foxx, Thandie Newton, Sylvester Stallone). Most of all, the DownBeat and JazzTimes favorite plays beautifully with a lyricism that’s quite catching across genres.
—Carol Banks Weber

The music of Dmitri Matheny’s JAZZ NOIR really sets the mood for the thrilling adventure of film noir. The flugelhornist and his band weave their original scores through stories of a femme fatale on the prowl for the next fix and a darkly romanticized city by the bay where anything can happen. Matheny’s horn bleeds lost romance with every lingering note.
—Carol Banks Weber

Dmitri Matheny quietly speaks of love and yearning, mystery and sublime brushes with greatness through his flugelhorn on a great many idyllic tracks — many of his own making. His latest album, JAZZ NOIR, traces the boundaries of anticipation and stark reality set firmly in the black, white, and gray world of the detective heroes and the dark underbelly of every city’s kingpins and hangers-on.
—Carol Banks Weber

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