San Francisco-based flugelhorn specialist Dmitri Matheny hit a three-hour L.A. traffic jam on the way to his Dizzy's gig, arriving in P.B. just in time to meet the local rhythm section of bassist Justin Grinnell and drummer Duncan Moore before hitting the stage with no rehearsal. The potential disaster was mitigated by the knowing support of his regular pianist Nick Manson, and the rest can be chalked up to professionalism on the San Diego side.
Having been in town all of ten minutes, Matheny counted off "Mox Nix," and dove right into it with a warm, centered sound and solid sense of swing. Manson followed with patient construction of melodic ideas over the deep throb of Grinnell's bass and Moore's ride cymbal pings.
Charlie Haden's "Here's Looking at You" came off particularly well, from Manson's pensive intro to Grinnell's measured, probing solo, topped off by Matheny's sculpted tones. Moore lit a fire under "It Could Happen to You," drawing concise entries from the leader and Manson, who balanced baroque ornamentation with boppish line building.
Matheny invited local pianist Joshua White to the stage with veteran saxophonist Chuck Johnson for an elastic version of "Think of One," which lurched and lunged with an appropriate eccentricity.
- Concert: Dmitri Matheny Quartet
- Date: July 26
- Venue: Dizzy's
- Seats: stage left
- Photo by Bonnie Wright