Topic: Phil Mattson Singers  (Read 2125 times)

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Daniel Heier

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Phil Mattson Singers
« on: November 22, 2010, 07:26 PM »

Today for fun, I youtubed my name to see what would come up and I came across a cool video of me performing at the Artists Quarter in St. Paul, MN with Phil Mattson. Featured here is the talented vocalist Sophie Grimm, Phil Mattson on keys, Gordy Johnson on Bass, and myself.

This gig was a great learning experience for me because it was one of the few times I was able to play with Gordy Johnson, master bass player from the twin cities. I never played with a bass player that made up-tempo's so easy and smooth. However, this video is a ballad. 

Hope you like the following video!


David Stanoch

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Re: Phil Mattson Singers
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 12:52 AM »
Nice, D.

I'd be curious to know know how you got this gig & when it was?

Regarding Gordy Johnson, he's a total bad mutha'fo'ya... Most folks would be surprised and impressed to know he's the older brother of L.A. based bassist Jimmy Johnson (Allan Holdsworth, James Taylor) & their father, Cliff, was principal bassist in the Minnesota Orchestra (alongside percussionists Marvin Dahlgren & Elliot Fine - authors of 4-Way Coordination) for over 40 years.

When I was a teen I made several trips in the mid-70's to see Peter Erskine play w/Maynard Ferguson & Gordy was the bassist in that great rhythm section (along w/Biff Hannon on keys) that Maynard had before Jaco snatched Pete out of the band to join Weather Report.

Gordy's resume is top shelf including work with blues guitar legend Roy Buchanan (w/Gordy Knudtson on drums), Chuck Mangione (w/later Medeski, Martin, Wood icon Billy Martin, and/or also the undersung and incredible Joe Bonadio, on drums), and many, many others. I've had the pleasure of working w/him in small jazz combos, the Minnesota Orchestra Cabaret Pops Big Band, Broadway/Partridge Family star Shirley Jones & many other gigs...

I know what you mean about how easy he is to play with. Guys w/his experience are a "rock" that can carry you through a tune w/ease if your ears are open. Gordy's a true pro w/perfect pitch (he's also a professional piano tuner) and he's a perfectionist. He doesn't suffer fools or B.S. lightly...

He looks very happy to be w/Phil, in this clip. I'm guessing they have a past together. Sophie sounds lovely and has an easy delivery, which can be easy to take for granted on a tune like this. Do you happen to know if she's Jennifer Grimm's sister? I've never worked live w/Jennifer but we're "virtual bandmates" on a number of studio sessions where we never tracked at the same time. I've never met her but she's a killer. Sophie seems very self-possessed as someone singing a tune like this live should be to get over on a high level.

While your performance is understated, from a modern drumming perspective, it sounds great in context. Your ears are open and you're supporting the song - a ballad, as you mentioned... Holding it down and letting it breathe. Sweet!

Thx for posting this!

NY Frank

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Re: Phil Mattson Singers
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2010, 07:34 AM »
She has a beautiful voice.    Great gig.

Chip Donaho

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Re: Phil Mattson Singers
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2010, 04:05 PM »
Hey Dan, let me know if you play again in St.Paul. I only live about 8 miles from there.  8)

Daniel Heier

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Re: Phil Mattson Singers
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2010, 02:58 PM »
Thanks for the kind comments everyone!

Chip, not sure when I will be playing the area again because I moved back to Sioux Falls, SD to play with Andy. But I am sure the opportunity will present itself again and I will let you know!

Dave, this was gig I landed through Kristin Sponcia. She sings for him and helped him out with finding a rhythm section. I played with Phil for the last two years, normally between the months of January and April is when we played.

Sophie is Jennifer's sister. I was fortunate to play with both in this group. Very talented singers and fun to work with.

To my knowledge, I believe this is the first time Gordy and Phil met. I remember how excited Phil was. He came up to me and said, "You wouldn't believe how well he played through the charts the first time. Unbelievable!" Phil has the best ears I know, and he was always super picky when it came to bass players. However, knowing a bit of Gordy's past, I believed it. I remember when Kristin told me I was going to be drumming with Gordy, I about fell over

The highlight for me that night came at the end of the gig. We started tearing down and as Gordy packed up and was about to leave, he came to me and said, "Real swingin' man!" Needless to say, I was deeply humbled and it took awhile for that to sink in. That was a good gig!