Coltrane was the one of the most influential saxophonists in the history of jazz. He had a prolific yet short career (due his untimely death at the age of 40 in 1967), recording on over 100 albums and was at the forefront of almost every movement in jazz from the 50’s to the late 60’s – bebop, hardbop, modal and free jazz.
Alex Mathias and his fine group of young musicians capture the essence of Coltrane’s music and style, taking the audience through the different stages of his career as a leader. Starting the show with some of Coltrane’s most recognisable hardbop compositions from early albums like ‘Blue Train’ they then move on to the music from ‘My Favorite Things’ and ‘Giant Steps’ putting a unique stamp on Coltrane’s compositions and arrangements of standards. Mathias talks briefly between tunes about the saxophonist’s career giving an overview of the spiritual and musical discoveries Coltrane made on the way. The latter part of the show encompasses many of the ‘classic quartet’ tunes from later albums with Elvin Jones (drums), Jimmy Garrison (double bass) and McCoy Tyner (piano) such as ‘A Love Supreme’ and ‘Crescent’ in which Coltrane used modal jazz concepts and truly allowed his spirituality to shine through.
Award-winning saxophonist and composer Alex Mathias has been working hard on the Irish music scene since returning from his studies at the prestigious Berklee College Of Music in 2006. He has built himself a short but substantial career taking him to over a dozen countries worldwide as a sideman and has developed various projects under his own name touring extensively around Ireland. As a band-leader Mathias performs regularly in Dublin at Livenote Jazz Sessions, a twice weekly event at The International Bar on 23 Wicklow St., which showcases various jazz groups from around Ireland on Tuesday’s and Mathias’ own groups on Thursday’s. This includes The Alex Mathias Quartet (Awarded ‘Best Young Band’ of Cork Jazz Festival 2010), his current group The Alex Mathias Perspective and his ‘Jazz Legend’s Series’ such as “Alex Mathias plays John Coltrane” (due to tour Ireland in March/April 2011) and “Alex Mathias plays Charlie Parker”. As a composer, Mathias has had original music from his debut album Goin’ Roamin’ (Livenote Records June 2010) featured on Aer Lingus in-flight entertainment and has also been commissioned to arrange his composition ‘Meshuga’ for the Dublin City Jazz Orchestra of which he is a member. Alex continues to write prolifically and is due to release an album of original compositions with his current group The Alex Mathias Perspective in June 2011. Alex teaches saxophone and jazz improvisation/theory.