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October 2007

Onzy Matthews
Mosaic Select: Onzy Matthews
Mosaic Records

Onzy Matthews was an arranger and pianist who wrote for Lou Rawls, Esther Phillips, Ray Charles, Duke Ellington and others without achieving any fame. Matthews recorded 51 selections as a leader, all of which are on the three-CD Onzy Matthews (Mosaic Select). The program, which includes 29 previously unreleased performances, features some of the top Los Angeles-area jazz musicians of 1963-64, including the legendary trumpeter Dupree Bolton, altoists Earl Anderza and Gabe Baltazar, and tenors Curtis Amy and Clifford Scott. The music, played by groups ranging from combos to big bands, includes hard-bop, bossa nova and a few commercial numbers. Capitol only chose to issue two LPs during Matthews’ life, which ended in obscurity in 1997, but Mosaic has now made it possible to fully enjoy and appreciate his overlooked talents as an arranger, pianist and (on three songs) vocalist.

Originally published in October 2007
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