MATANA ROBERTS

Avant-Garde Jazz / Jazz Related Improv/Composition • United States
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A Chicago-raised alto player who’s making quite a reputation for herself as a composer and conceptualist, Roberts first came to many listeners’ attention as a member of the jazz-funk-rock conducted improvisation ensemble Burnt Sugar. As a leader, she combines a biting, fierce tone on the horn with a broad artistic palette, a need to tell larger stories and present multi-media shows rather than just collections of tunes, and a willingness to hire any kind of instrumentalist she feels will help her get her point across. Roberts is a woman who recognizes no external limitations on her creativity.

from http://burningambulance.com

Matana Roberts is a jazz saxophonist, composer and improviser based in New York City. She has previously been an active member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The Jazz Journalists Association selected Roberts as a finalist nominee for the 2008 "Up and Coming Musician of the Year" award
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Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens de Couleur LibreCoin Coin Chapter One: Gens de Couleur Libre
Constellation 2011
$9.82
$8.98 (used)
Coin Coin Chapter Three: river run theeCoin Coin Chapter Three: river run thee
Constellation 2015
$11.47
$4.83 (used)
COIN COIN Chapter Two: Mississippi MoonchileCOIN COIN Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile
Constellation 2013
$7.99
$4.99 (used)
Chicago ProjectChicago Project
Central Control 2008
$9.49 (used)
Live in LondonLive in London
CENTRAL CONTROL 2011
$14.46
$18.34 (used)
Matana Roberts ‎– AlwaysMatana Roberts ‎– Always
Original recording
Relative Pitch Records
$13.95
Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile by Matana RobertsCoin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile by Matana Roberts
Constellation
$29.11
Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres by Matana Roberts (2011-05-10)Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres by Matana Roberts (2011-05-10)
Constellation
$31.72
Live In London by Matana Roberts (2011-02-22)Live In London by Matana Roberts (2011-02-22)
Central Control
$56.76
Coin Coin Chapter Three: river run thee by Matana Roberts (2015-05-04)Coin Coin Chapter Three: river run thee by Matana Roberts (2015-05-04)
Constellation
$38.13
$7.99 (used)
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MATANA ROBERTS Discography

MATANA ROBERTS albums / top albums

MATANA ROBERTS Sticks And Stones (as Sticks And Stones) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sticks And Stones (as Sticks And Stones)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2002
MATANA ROBERTS Shed Grace (as Sticks And Stones) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Shed Grace (as Sticks And Stones)
Avant-Garde Jazz 2004
MATANA ROBERTS The Chicago Project album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
The Chicago Project
Avant-Garde Jazz 2007
MATANA ROBERTS Coin Coin Happening: Exodus: Bell, Book, Candle album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Coin Coin Happening: Exodus: Bell, Book, Candle
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
MATANA ROBERTS Coin Coin Happening: Fields of Memphis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Coin Coin Happening: Fields of Memphis
Avant-Garde Jazz 2010
MATANA ROBERTS Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Coin Coin Chapter Two: Mississippi Moonchile
Avant-Garde Jazz 2013
MATANA ROBERTS Matana Roberts & Sam Shalabi & Nicolas Caloia : Feldspar album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Matana Roberts & Sam Shalabi & Nicolas Caloia : Feldspar
Avant-Garde Jazz 2014
MATANA ROBERTS Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee
Jazz Related Improv/Composition 2015
MATANA ROBERTS Always album cover 4.00 | 1 ratings
Always
Avant-Garde Jazz 2015

MATANA ROBERTS EPs & splits

MATANA ROBERTS For Standing Rock​.​.​. album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
For Standing Rock​.​.​.
Avant-Garde Jazz 2016

MATANA ROBERTS live albums

MATANA ROBERTS Lines for Lacy: Ellington/Staryhorn for Solo Saxophone album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Lines for Lacy: Ellington/Staryhorn for Solo Saxophone
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
MATANA ROBERTS The Calling album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Calling
Avant-Garde Jazz 2006
MATANA ROBERTS Live In London album cover 3.50 | 1 ratings
Live In London
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011
MATANA ROBERTS Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres album cover 4.47 | 5 ratings
Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres
Avant-Garde Jazz 2011

MATANA ROBERTS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

MATANA ROBERTS re-issues & compilations

MATANA ROBERTS singles (0)

MATANA ROBERTS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

MATANA ROBERTS Reviews

MATANA ROBERTS Always

Album · 2015 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Chicagoan Matana Roberts is better known by her Coin Coin... series of historical/social albums where she combines African-American roots music with free jazz and occasionally classic orchestrations and/or electronics.

Besides of Coin Coin... she regularly works on side projects more or less related with her main line. "Always" is her second album, released in 2015, and it is a very special one. Being a younger generation AACM member Matana demonstrates her Chicagoan avant-garde jazz school's influences very often, no strange that in old AACM tradition she recorded solo sax album (what was quite a popular action in early 70s and have been over-exploited by great Steve Lacy during later decades, but is way not a fashion of the day in the second decade of new century).

Just alto sax and just two compositions are presented on this album - one continues as long as 33 minutes though. Matana plays free improvised music which is deeply rooted in early last century's legacy,mostly gospel and blues. Her sax's soloing recalls human voice, singing simple, sad and very natural story and this way "Always" is seriously related with her "Coin Coin..." music. Minimalistic cover art perfectly conveys quite technically simple and minimalist music which has almost magic influence. This album, being wholly improvised,could become an excellent soundtrack to historical art-movie about American South.

Second,shorter (less than 10 minutes long)track is not a narrative balladry, but more explosive Ayleresque free jazz song, very naturally connected with the album's opener and radiating same atmosphere. Even if fully improvised sax solo music isn't listening for everyone, this album (as almost any Matana's music) is a bit more than just music - it's a true art which works even if its outer form isn't most accessible.

MATANA ROBERTS Matana Roberts & Sam Shalabi & Nicolas Caloia : Feldspar

Album · 2014 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
American sax player Matana Roberts,who is best known from her "Coin Coin..." albums series, regularly participates in other projects which are obvious less known.Between second and third "Coin Coin" series albums (2013 and 2015),she recorded and released highly experimental album with Montreal musicians - electric guitarist Sam Shalabi and acoustic bassist Nicolas Caloia.

Both Canadians are part of left-field Montreal scene, it's interesting to hear how their aesthetics work (or don't work) in collaboration with American trad music rooted Matana's jazz. Album is titled "Feldspar"(from my University time classic geology studies I still remember that feldspar is very hard mineral of silicate composition, which contains no ore or other valuable elements and Earth's outer crust is composed mostly of it), each album's song is titled by one of minerals name as well.

Seven improvisations present more or less tight interplay between extended ultra acoustic low bass vibrations, processed electric guitars sounds (from almost metal-rock shredding to synth-like soundscapes)and bluesy and tuneful Matana's clear sax soloing over it. At best, all three musicians find quite reflective if not telepathic interplay and demonstrates really effective and attractive form of free but tuneful jazzy improvs. Still often each of them three plays as he's interested in his own music first of all and don't care much about what happens around. In such moments Matana's sax works as cement molding music from components,which trying to run away each to its own direction. Sometimes it sounds even attractive, but more often just destroys music's integrity.

Not of the same league as Coin Coin albums, "Feldspar" has its moments and are quite interesting release for listeners liking Matana's music. I expect her collaboration with free-improvs artists here (as well as work with different forms of processed sound) influenced Roberts' upcoming third Coin Coin album where differently from her two first Coin Coin releases,she plays solo all instruments with massive use of synths and samples and only accidental use of her main instrument - saxophone.

Matana's new album "Always" is already announced to be released in few months, what will she offer next?

MATANA ROBERTS Coin Coin Chapter Three: River Run Thee

Album · 2015 · Jazz Related Improv/Composition
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Matana Roberts is what jazz avant-garde has been once and somehow almost disappeared with time spent in escapism and narcissism. She plays with London experimental jazz artists and releases albums on Constellation label, home of post-rockers Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Her coronation as underground jazz queen happened in 2011 after she released first chapter of her projected 12-part Coin Coin series with big orchestra. Coin Coin Two has been logical and different continuation with operatic vocals recorded with smaller band. Being one of the most respectable artists on modern experimental jazz scene she isn't real star at all - one must try really hard searching any information on her music, gigs or even released albums.

Just released Coin Coin Three is different bird from two previous installments again. It's Matana's first truly solo album, recorded solely by herself. And her usual saxophone is far not main instrument used here - main music is produced by collection of analogue Korgs and Robert's voice, adding nature sound recordings, sound effects and even vintage upright piano. Her free soprano soloing is presented, piercing atmosphere as needles.

Matana's singing is far not jazzy, more narrative or just spoken words,continued storytelling over quite warmly-sounding old-time physical laboratory oscillators-like produced Korg sounds. She adds some nature noises,recorded in American South and New York City and overlayed vocals. Produced using quite unorthodox techniques when every next layer is recorded live when playing over pre-recorded sound, this album is unusually warm and spontaneous for music,produced using studio equipment as one of main instruments.

As both previous album of the series,this music continues just a bit longer than forty minutes - usual vinyl album time,not twice longer modern CD-size. Last question (or probably first - depending on personal listener's taste)is if this music is still jazz. Looking from orthodox position, no way. But everyone familiar with some Sun Ra earlier experimentation with very first analogue synthesizers (recorded and released as albums)already heard such music and even more often - same question. Who really cares?

MATANA ROBERTS Live In London

Live album · 2011 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
snobb
Chicagoan sax player Matana Roberts stepped into the premier jazz league with her "Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres"(2011) and confirmed the success with second chapter in 2013. "Live in London",released already on the wave of her glory in 2011 contains material,recorded in 2009 so it's a great chance to hear "what was before..."

Recording of great sound quality comes from one night gig in legendary London's The Vortex, Matana plays in a company of really skilled British trio,drummer Chris Vatalaro, double bassist Tom Mason and pianist Robert Mitchell. Just six compositions with opener Chad Jones' "My Sistr" lasting over 26 minutes. The only other non-original is Duke Ellington's "Oska T".

From very first seconds Matana's sax dominates and it will guide the listener all night long. British trio is all great accompanists,especially pianist Robert Mitchell (it would be interesting to hear more his soloing here). But Matana plays with her soul and spirit - her sax sounds very Coltranesque, and she naturally steals the show.Very soft, blues-rooted and soulful sax sound at the same time is all the time combined with emotive explosions,reminding Ayler's music. Matana plays quite free anchored with more post-boppish trio. All concert by its atmosphere sounds as it's coming from mid'60s.

On her upcoming "Coin Coin..." series Mantana will find her unique voice mixing gospel,blues,free jazz,theater and poetry, here on "Live In London" one can ensure how great improvisational jazz musician she is.

MATANA ROBERTS Coin Coin Chapter One: Gens De Couleur Libres

Live album · 2011 · Avant-Garde Jazz
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
js
One of the most powerful and moving recordings to come out in the last couple years, “Coin Coin” is not so much a musical piece as it is a combination of theatre and performance art accompanied by music. Its broad ambitious artistic approach has precedent in the multi-media pieces pioneered by Duke Ellington and Charles Mingus, but composer/performer Matana Roberts also draws a lot of influence from modern performance artists such as Meredith Monk and Diamanda Galas. Musically Robert’s influences are the diverse rootsy avant-garde styles of Chicago’s AACM, as well as NYC’s long standing performance art scene.

“Coin Coin” deals with the story and history of slavery as told through the words of those who lived through it. Although such a heavy subject matter could suffer in the hands of those less prepared, Robert’s delivery of these pointed messages from the past is diffused with wry wit and ironic humor and somehow manages to never become too stifling or maudlin. As Roberts and co-narrator Gitjali Jain read snippets of real recollections taken from the past, words pile on top of each other in an abstract jumble, but a very real and personal picture of what things were like comes through. Along with these narratives, "Coin Coin" also uses songs, chants and instrumental passages to make it all the more real.

Matana’s musical material on here is extremely diverse and draws upon free jazz, modern composition, African processions, vocal chants, spirituals and all manner of American roots music. Even without the moving spoken word and vocal segments, the musical compositions on “Coin Coin” alone would be enough to make this one of the best jazz albums of the last couple years.

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