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David Matthews

 B i o g r a p h y

David Matthews is a keyboardist, pianist, and arranger born March 4, 1942 in Sonora, Kentucky. His song "Star Wars" was featured on the breakbeat compilation "Ultimate Breaks and Beats". Matthews also composed an album entitled "Dune" (not to be confused with the soundtrack to the film "Dune") whose track "Sandworms" was later sampled by the Large Professor for his song "The Mad Scientist" and by Erick Sermon for the Method Man & Redman song, "Maaad Crew." Matthews has composed television soundtracks and albums with the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra and is the leader of the Manhattan Jazz Quintet. He should not be confused with the Dave Matthews of jam band fame. Matthews was the leader of the musical group The Grodeck Whipperjenny In 1970 he began working as both an arranger and bandleader for James Brown. Matthews has worked with many musicians, including Idris Muhammad, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Rich, and the Starland Vocal Band, as well as being staff arranger for the CTI Records label. In 1978 Dave arranged strings and orchestra, and played piano on Nina Simone's landmark CTI album "Baltimore". This is available through Sony (Columbia Jazz Masters ZK57906).

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The keyboardist David Matthews has been, among other things, a steady source of funk, whether drinking it in from the sweat of the rhythmically innovative soul godfather James Brown or attempting to pour it over the head of the somewhat wimpier Paul Simon. Trends for better or worse that Matthews has been associated with since the '70s also include the CTI sound, an exhausting list of television soundtracks and commercial advertisements, and a series of critically praised releases by the Manhattan Jazz Orchestra. He should not be confused with the Dave Matthews of jam band fame, nor the earlier arranger and reed player from the big-band heyday, although both of them appear to have worked for Frank Sinatra at one time.

A graduate of the University of Cincinnati with a Bachelor's degree in composition, Matthews began his performing career as the leader of a dance band in the late '60s. This group toured extensively in several parts of Europe and Matthews also began establishing a presence on the Cincinnati jazz scene. The next move was a big one; in l970 he began working as both an arranger and bandleader for James Brown, making it possible for him to relocate to New York City and utilize the Brown connection in order to garner steady freelance assignments. His clients included demanding performers such as drummer and bandleader Buddy Rich, singers Mark Murphy and Bonnie Raitt, and the Starland Vocal Band, among many others. In the mid-'70s he became staff arranger for the CTI label, resulting in a series of smooth productions that were loved by some jazz buffs and loathed by others. Matthews formed his own groups from this period on, including the David Matthews & the Manhattan Jazz Quintet. He scored many films for Hollywood such as The Parallax View, the first version of The Stepford Wives and Night Moves. He also has had quite a high profile for his activities in Japan.

All Music Guide

 A l b u m s

Bach 2000 (ZYX Music, 2001)