The Musical Maturity of Matt Mitchell

Rather technical in parts and truncated in others, at least the interview JazzTrail’s Filipe Freitas conducted with Matt Mitchell does offer an introduction to the New York-based pianist’s career. Mitchell, 44, who has played with the likes of percussionist Ches Smith and saxophonists Chris Speed and Tim Berne, discusses topics such as his favorite albums, his Jazz and non-Jazz musical influences, and how he uses electronics. His idea for electronics is to program synthesizers and other gizmos to function as part of his ideas, not following technical paths. Mitchell, who says he wanted to be an astronaut when he was a child, is also put into the uncomfortable position of describing his original playing style. He does so in simple details, but stresses as someone interested in the unknown, that sounds now taken for granted will soon be upended and changed by younger and younger musicians. More seriously though, Freitas never follows up when Mitchell admits that it took him 20 years of playing before he finally became a full-time professional.