Criminally smooth
—Taos News

Unquestionably a master.

A loving concern for fine detail.
—Los Angeles Times

A horn player of uncommon wit and power.

Understated, masterful technique and evident joy.

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

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


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


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.


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


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