Groovin’ with the DMQ has a frankly groovy vibe, with the songs “Groovin’” and “The 59th Bridge Street Song (Feelin’ Groovy)” …
Daniel Matto strikes a chordBy Trevor J. Adams | Aug 24, 2010
The Daniel Matto Quintet performs at The Carleton on Argyle Street on Wednesday (August 25) at 9pm. Tickets are $10. Believe me: this is the best $10 you can possibly spend in Halifax this summer.
I can’t help but wonder if jazz crooner Daniel Matto would have a bigger following if he were a Halifax native. Originally from Adelaide, Australia, Matto has lived in Halifax for three years. He credits the city’s music scene for being welcoming and accepting but when you hear his smooth sounds and experience his infectious charm, the first thought is that he should be a much bigger deal than he currently is.
That’s changing, though.
Since I first met him a year ago, Matto has played with Symphony Nova Scotia and on the mainstage at the Halifax Jazz Festival. At the same time, he’s diligently building a fan base with regular gigs at Stayner’s Wharf on George Street, and basking in the release of I’m Old Fashioned, his first album.
“I’m proud of that album,” he told me over coffee yesterday. “It’s been gestating for a long time. It’s really the story of the last few years of my life: losing love, moving on, going to a new place, finding it again. It really expresses what I was feeling over the years.”
The album is a mix of old standards like “Black Magic Woman” and “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning,” along with Matto’s own creations like “I Thought of You Again” and “For You.” Symphony Nova Scotia cellist Shimon Walt joins Matto for “I Get Along Without You Very Well” and “Message To My Girl.”
Song selection was one of the most agonizing parts of the process. “These things don’t happen quickly but the hard work is worth it,” he says. “I learned a lot. I’m hoping to record a second album next year. I’d like to record more of my own stuff.” Matto has an extensive repertoire and wants to show off more of what he can do.
“You need different songs for different times,” he says. “At JazzFest, we were on in the afternoon, and you don’t want to be stuck doing something like ‘In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning’ at 3pm. What you’re playing needs to suit the venue. At The Carleton, we’re going to be playing a lot of stuff we don’t normal play, paring it down, doing things simply with different pieces coming in and out—we won’t be just a quintet.”