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Matt Brewer: Bass on Top

The young bassman opens Jazz Gallery's latest commission series

Matt Brewer
Bassist Matt Brewer (photo: Rafiq Bhatia)

It’s Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 12, and as he’s done for the past four days, bassist Matt Brewer unlocks the metal gate to the Jazz Gallery and climbs the steep set of stairs to its darkened performance space. It’s still early in his two-week stint as composer-in-residence, but a new tune has already begun to gel.

As Brewer often does when he has a break from the road (in the preceding months he’s toured Japan, Italy and Cuba as a member of pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s trio), he eases into composing mode by sitting down at the piano and playing some Mozart, or perhaps a Bach chorale. Inevitably, he explains, something will catch his ear-maybe an intriguing harmonic interval or contrapuntal passage-that sparks the inspiration for a new tune.

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