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Artist’s Choice: Matthew Stevens on Must-Hear Canadian Musicians

Guitarist and composer selects cuts by Ingrid Jensen, Ed Bickert and more

Guitarist Matthew Stevens (photo by Matthew Perrin)

In compiling this playlist, I looked for things about these artists’ writing and music that I connect with personally, and for an overarching sense of musical priorities. They all have a real emotional pull in their music, and they are all unique. Their music embodies things I gravitate toward regardless of genre: great feel, great sound, great time.

Paul Bley
“All the Things You Are”
Sonny Meets Hawk! [Sonny Rollins and Coleman Hawkins] (RCA Victor, 1963)
It’s a classic album but still a little bit under the radar. I heard that solo on “All the Things You Are” and I was completely blown away. It felt like a precursor to everything I’m hearing now. It was really different than a lot of the forward-looking music happening at the time, because it was still dealing with the harmony very directly but in a previously unexamined way. Everything was incredibly clear but incredibly fresh. It’s captivating and magnetic.

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