“Of the young guitarists on New York’s jazz scene, few are as highly tipped as Matthew Stevens.” – NPR
“Stevens is a singular talent brimming with a strong identity.” – DownBeat Magazine
“Matthew Stevens is a young guitarist who navigates with ease among jazz, indie-rock and soul. “– The New York Times
“Matthew Stevens has become one of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming jazz guitarists.” – iTunes Music Editor’s Choice
Guitarist and composer Matthew Stevens is considered one of the most promising artists in contemporary jazz through his associations with NEXT Collective, Christian Scott, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, Walter Smith III, and Harvey Mason. Now Stevens comes fully into his own with his debut recording as a leader, Woodwork. The album showcases Stevens’ diversity from his warm, robust sound, to his fluid, emotive playing at the helm of a stellar quintet, which features pianist Gerald Clayton, bassist Vicente Archer, drummer Eric Doob and percussionist Paulo Stagnaro.
A self-described guitar fanatic who fell in love with his father’s Jimi Hendrix records as a child, Stevens purposely assembled his band to allow the guitar to express his melodies alone.
The album’s title, Stevens says, reflects the almost tactile way in which he creates music. “It’s a metaphor for how I see myself interacting with sound. Woodwork is an act of creation in collaboration with the natural world; it invokes a sense of being handmade or one of a kind. These raw materials exist regardless of whether or not you do something with them, so I try to respect that and let the music unfold naturally.”
Through his electrifying work with the likes of Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington, and Christian Scott, Matthew Stevens has become one of the world’s most exciting up-and-coming jazz guitarists. The stunning Woodwork—which marks his eagerly- awaited debut as a bandleader—places Stevens’ immense melodic gifts and deceptively intricate playing on full display. While “Sunday” is a sumptuous reimagining of David Bowie’s atmospheric 2002 original, the album’s haunting title track crackles with spirited interplay and a timeless folk-inspired melody.