Do You Like Guitars? You Ought to See this Guy Tonight.

Will Matthews is Kansas City’s best jazz guitarist. As far as I know, he’s the world’s best jazz guitarist, but I can’t be as dead certain of that claim. Either way, you can sit a few yards away from him this evening at the Blue Room for $15, and be blown away.

A few years ago, I was flipping through a cut-out bin and found an album entitled “Will Matthews Solo” and it was only a couple dollars. I saw he was a Kansas City native so I gave it a try, with no expectations or preconceptions. That album wound up at the top of my top 50 albums 2000-2009 because I’ve listened to it more than any other album in my collection.

I lack the vocabulary of a true jazz critic, so I’ll quote one: “Those who know me have always heard me say that Will’s tone and phrasing is a perfect blend of George Benson, Grant Green, and Wes Montgomery, supported by his strong chordal concept, which, unavoidably, is pure Kenny Burrell (and why would anyone want to go around that?).” I’ll just add that the music sounds like rubbed brass looks.

It won’t only be Will Matthews tonight, though. Your $15 dollars gets his whole quartet. He’s just released a CD with Mel Rhyne on the Hammond B3 organ, Bobby Watson on the alto saxophone and Kenny Phelps on the drums. I’ll happily pay full price for this one . . .

2 Responses to “Do You Like Guitars? You Ought to See this Guy Tonight.”

  1. bigsmithdude says:

    damn, once again you are killing me! this is right up my alley and i would have LOVED to have been there to see it. does he play in KC often?

  2. Dan says:

    Not often enough, but occasionally. I'll give you a heads-up when I hear about shows.

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