Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Matt Mitchell: A Pouting Grimace (Pi)

Review of album from pianist known for exceptional work as a sideman

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.
Cover of Matt Mitchell album A Pouting Grimace
Cover of Matt Mitchell album A Pouting Grimace

Why has Matt Mitchell become the go-to pianist for so many jazz artists on the fringe? His output provides the best answers, by highlighting a broad skill set and a paradoxical musical makeup that blends rigorous organization and free will in fluid proportions. Whether investigating Bird with Rudresh Mahanthappa, exploring biology through sound with Steve Coleman or engaging in oblique dialogue with Tim Berne, he always seems to fulfill and sidestep expectations.

A Pouting Grimace, Mitchell’s third release on the Pi imprint, magnifies those cornerstone qualities. The album’s 10 tracks find him alternately engaged with an impressive crew of likeminded renegades and serving up solo electronic interludes. In both instances he manages to push the envelope without driving listeners away.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published