Telluride Jazz Fest: The Mattson 2, Friday on the Main Stage

Telluride Jazz Fest: The Mattson 2, Friday on the Main Stage

Telluride Jazz Festival, August 9-11, 2019, still has tickets on sale. Go here for details. 

The Mattson 2, (twins) are scheduled on the Main Stage of the Telluride Jazz Festival on Friday, August 9, 2:20 p.m., and again at 10 p.m. at The Moon at O”Bannons. Scroll down to listen to their podcast.

For years, the clear as a mountain spring harmonies of the brother and sister act of Tim and Molly O’Brien raised goosebumps at the Telluride Bluegrass Festival.

Now two other siblings, (twins in fact), the guitar-drum duo of The Mattson 2, are scheduled on the Main Stage of the Telluride Jazz Festival on Friday, August 9, 2:20 p.m., and again at 10 p.m. at The Moon at O”Bannons, where you can expect more of the same sort of voodoo blood relationships do so well.

“Wow, wow, wow,” says Telluride Jazz. “…The Mattson 2 are unlike any such duo you’ve ever heard. Jared’s guitars swirl and swoop, creating an ethereal and urgent soundscape, while Jonathan’s drumming drives their powerful sound. We’ll oversimplify things and call it jazz-rock, but sonically the Mattson’s music stretches far beyond that description…. Their… records reflect a. Diversity of cultural influences and collaborations with notables in thee jazz world…”

One of the most influential bands ever The Kinks was formed by brothers Dave and Ray Davies.

Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees were Kings of Disco.

And if the Bee Gees were the predominant group with a harmonizing trio of brothers in the ’70s, then the title for the decade prior has to go to The Beach Boys – Brian, Dennis, and Carl Wilson – as well as cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine.

Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, Marlon and Michael Jackson combined to form one of the most popular Motown groups of the ‘70s, The Jackson 5.

And it’s hard to think of better harmonizers than Don and Phil Everly of The Everly Brothers.

The Allman Brothers Band have had more members than a lot of bands have fans at their shows, but as the group’s name might suggest, none were more important, or at least formative, than founding members Duane and Gregg Allman, the standard bearers of southern rock.

Since the late ’90s, the Quinn sisters ,Tegan and Sara, morphed from an alternative indie folk duo into about as pop a group as it gets.

Este, Danielle, and Alana Haim of HAIM make up one of the most engaging bands in modern pop.

The list goes on to include The Andrews Sisters; Karen & Richard Carpenter of The Carpenters; Donny & Marie Osmond; Nick, Joe & Kevin Jonas; Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh; Bob and Gerald Casale of Devo; Martie Maguire & Emily Robison of Dixie Chicks; Klara & Johanna Soderberg of First Aid Kit/; Colin & Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead; Malcolm & Angus Young of AC/DC.

There is little doubt some of the best bands in the world over time have been made up of siblings (as above).

Could it be something in the water?

Nope, it is clearly in the DNA.

”With their shared DNA and profound connection, the Mattson twins are unlike any band you’ve seen before,” wrote The Washington Post, continuing:

“When someone in the audience let out a marveling whoop, one of the brothers would flash a smile peeled to the gums and cock his head back to acknowledge being acknowledged. The two dueled, they dovetailed and, as their performance went on, their musical pyrotechnics made the sedate room seem like it might detonate.

“I’ve seen lots of great musicians be in sync with one another, but there was something else going on here, something more elusive and enthralling. When the guitarist would tease out a particular pattern of notes during a jam, the drummer sometimes played the exact pattern on his toms, and to watch their expressions of surprised delight, it was clear that these moments weren’t rehearsed but came simply from having the same impulse at the same moment. That connectivity was on display throughout their set, and before GoGo Penguin even came on, it was already one of the most thrilling evenings of music I’d ever experienced.

“In the weeks after, I listened to the Mattson 2’s music intently, then obsessively, and I came to believe that the duo — made up of identical twins Jared Mattson, on guitar, and Jonathan Mattson, on drums — was the most original band that no one was talking about. ..”

The Mattson 2 have been making music together since their teens, initially into punk and metal, but soon jazz became their go-to, including (in 2018) cover “A Love Supreme,” easily one of the most innovative recordings of the 20th century.

According to The Washington Post:

“As undergraduates at the University of California at San Diego, the twins released their first three albums; they put out two more over the next five years. In 2016, Chaz Bundick, who leads the popular band Toro y Moi, joined them in the studio and co-wrote, played bass and keyboards, and sang on a handful of tracks for an album ultimately billed as Chaz Bundick Meets the Mattson 2 (and titled “Star Stuff”). It hit No. 1 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz chart, which ushered in a new audience for the duo, both in the jazz and indie-music worlds…”

The Mattson 2’s recent output has found them evoking the lush and carefree soundscapes of Japanese city pop. Their 2018 release, Vaults of Eternity: Japan was full of loving reinterpretations of songs by artists like Haruomi Hosono and Ryuichi Sakamoto, and while their latest LP, Paradise, does not indulge in sonic excess, it does capture that breezy, sun-filled vibe. The release charted Billboard at #1 Contemporary Jazz, #2 Jazz, #20 Alternative, and landed features in The Washington Post and Pitchfork.

Amongst collaborations with Ray Barbee, Tommy Guerrero, Farmer Dave (of Kurt Vile), and Money Mark (of Beastie Boys), the two released Star Stuff in 2017 with Chaz Bear (FKA Chaz Bundick, AKA Toro Y Moi) — also #1 on Billboard’s contemporary jazz charts — and reinterpreted, as mentioned above, Coltrane’s legendary “A Love Supreme,” about which Ashely Kahn (author of “A Love Supreme: The Creation of John Coltrane’s Classic Album,” 2002) says “there is a depth of sincerity and reverence in what the Mattson’s are doing that is unquestionable.”

“The duo swings hard,” said DownBeat.

“A cosmic adventure … touched by the spirit of Sun Ra, Miles Davis and The Zombies,” raved Vice.

“Described by the duo as ‘a record to throw a frisbee to,’ Paradise is everything you’d think that’d entail — and more. For the first time in their recorded history, the Mattsons have added their own lyrics and vocals (a soothing, warm tone reminiscent of a young, stoned David Gilmour) to the fluttering, surf-soaked mix,” said NBC San Diego, noting that “While San Diegans are lucky to be able to catch their local performances semi-regularly… they’re still criminally under-appreciated here in town. Perhaps the group’s stellar new studio album (their eighth) will change that.

A gig at the Telluride Jazz Festival should help.

For more on the Mattson 2, listen to their podcast:

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