Matt Otto Quintet @ Steamer’s, Tuesday, 8pm

Tuesday, January 11 8pm


Matt Otto saxophone,
Steve Cotter guitar,
Gary Fukushima piano/keys,
Ryan McGillicuddy bass,
Jason Harnell drums

Steamers Jazz Club and Cafe
138 West Commonwealth Avenue
Fullerton, CA 92832
RSVP 714-871-8800

otto quintet

The blurry snapshot above is one of the few existing pictures (if not the only picture) of myself playing with this fantastic group.  It’s from a few years ago at the Aroma Spring Festival in Idyllwild, CA., and it was also the first time I had gotten to play as an official member of this hallowed band.  Guitarist Steve Cotter had to cancel at the last minute so it was up to me to take care of all the counter melodies and harmony.  I remember being very excited and a little apprehensive to be invited to join this group of personal heroes.  The gig was really fun and I was looking forward to many more gigs and recordings with these guys.

We did a few more gigs after that, including a show at the Jazz Bakery, and then of course Matt moved to Kansas City.  He’s been back a number of times already but this is the first gig he’s had with his own quintet since he moved.  If you haven’t heard his band, I would strongly recommend you attend.

It really is my favorite music to play, period.  Matt’s writing is exquisite, intricate and challenging, yet very lyrical and even emotional.  It goes without saying Matt’s saxophone playing is quite unbelieveable in his understated mastery of harmony, rhythm, tone and creativity.  Jason Harnell and Ryan McGillicuddy have an uncanny rapport.  Ryan once described it to me as a kind of mind-reading symbiosis, where they can take incredible chances with the time and form of the music, with the security that they can come out of whatever they get into relatively unscathed.  Steve Cotter is a true gem of a guitarist, with an encyclopedic knowledge of harmony and repertoire, and a beautiful melodic sense and a great guitar sound.  I remember playing a gig with Steve where guitar legend Ry Cooder came up to the band and exclaimed, “This sounds really good!”  I thought he was talking about the band, but as it turns out he was talking about Steve’s rig.  Of course he wasn’t talking about the band…
Anyway, this group has a very rare performance on Tuesday.  No one has any idea when we will play again, so I’m going to treat it as the precious moment that it will be.  I guarantee you it’s worth the drive down to Fullerton.

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