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Donna Jean Godchaux & Jeff Matson @ The Boat House

Donna Jean Godchaux will be joined by Dark Star Orchestra's Jeff Mattson for a special show on October 8th, 2010 @ the Boat House in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  You can learn more about this show by visiting Donna's website or the Boat House website.

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Donna Jean Godchaux with Jeff Mattson @ The Boat House

Friday, October 8th, 2010 @ 8PM

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Check out Grateful Web's interview with DSO's Jeff Mattson here.

Dreyfus Jazz Presents European Modernists

Jazz, once a singularly American invention and one of the United States’ greatest exports, has become a truly international phenomenon, with important players from all over the world making valuable contributions to the music’s evolution.  Europe, previously home to many of the most devoted connoisseurs of the art form, is now also the producer of some of the most innovative voices in jazz. With the inauguration of its European Modernists series Dreyfus Jazz is proud to bring U.S. audiences some of the best creative music being made on the continent today.  The first releases in the collection showcase musicians from Belgium, France and Italy, spotlighting two long respected veterans and a pair of important younger voices.  Taken together, Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine, French pianist Jean-Michel Pilc and Italians, drummer Aldo Romano and saxophonist Rosario Giuliani, these artists represent the continuing trend of noteworthy original music emanating from European environs.

Born in Belluno, Italy on Jan 16, 1941, Aldo Romano is the most senior of the four leaders, well known to audiences worldwide since his earliest recordings as a member of Don Cherry’s internationalist quintet featuring Argentinean saxophonist Gato Barbieri, German vibraphonist Karl Berger and French bassist Jean Francois Jenny Clark.  A resident of France since a young age, he’s played swinging drums with visiting American giants like Jackie McLean, Bud Powell, Lucky Thompson, J.J. Johnson, Johnny Griffin and Woody Shaw and avant garde explorations with Steve Lacy, Charlie Mariano, Frank Wright, Bobby Few and Bill Dixon through the years, giving his far reaching music a distinctively freewheeling flavor. His associations with fellow Europeans Michel Petrucciani, Rolf and Joachim Kühn, Enrico Rava and Michel Portal make him a particularly representative artist for this series.

Origine, Romano’s fourth effort for Dreyfus, finds the versatile artist returning to a romantic setting similar to that of his debut effort for the label, Chante, leading an expanded ensemble that displays his considerable capabilities as a composer.  Augmenting his jazz sextet featuring saxophonist/flutist Lionel Belmondo (who arranged all of the disc’s thirteen compositions) and trumpeter/flugelhornist Stéphane Belmondo (the date’s primary soloist), altoist Géraldine Laurent, pianist Eric Legnini and bassist Thomas Bramerie with a classical wind ensemble of clarinet, flute, English horn, bassoon, French horn and tuba, plus percussionist Xavier Desandre-Navarre.  The music is lush and beautiful, a decidedly successful melding of American and European sensibilities reflecting Romano’s wide ranging talents, which also include (like one of his influences, Bill Higgins) playing guitar and singing, the latter of which is heard to great effect on the final track, his “Jazz Messengers” with French lyrics by Yves Simon.

Guitarist Philip Catherine, born in London in 1942 to a Belgian father and British mother, was raised in Brussels’s where he began playing professionally while still a teenager.  Dubbed the "young Django" while still a youth, by the great Charles Mingus (on whose Three or Four Shades of Blues the guitarist recorded), Catherine came into his own voice playing in variety of settings, from bebop to fusion, including work with American expatriates Dexter Gordon and Chet Baker and European violin maestros Jean Luc Ponty and Stephane Grappelli. Since gaining recognition with American audiences for his two guitar work Larry Coryell, he has gone on to become one of the most highly respected artists on his instrument in both the U.S. and Europe.

Catherine, who has recorded over twenty albums under his own name since his 1974 Warner Brothers debut Stream (produced by the legendary French guitarist-vocalist Sacha Distel, who worked with Lionel Hampton, Dizzy Gillespie and John Lewis) and dozens more as a valued sideman, makes his sixth appearance as a leader on Dreyfus with Concert In Capbreton.  The live recording, featuring the guitarist’s working band with his longtime collaborator, Dutch bassist Hein Van De Geyn, Italian piano maestro Enrico Pieranunzi and former Bill Evans drummer Joe La Barbera, is a swinging affair documenting the group’s 2009 appearance in the charming seaside resort town in southwestern France.  The group stretches out on four standards from the Great American Songbook – “My Funny Valentine”, “My Foolish Heart”, “You’ve Changed” and “Speak Low”, along with two modern jazz classics, Sam Rivers’ “Beatrice” and Richie Beirach’s “Broken Wings” and a beautiful Van de Geyn solo bass piece “Change.”

Since moving to New York in 1995, virtuoso pianist/composer Jean-Michel Pilc has steadily earned a reputation one the city’s finest musical imports, working and recording regularly in many of the most important venues in the jazz capital of the world, including Sweet Basil, Small’s, Iridium and the Jazz Gallery, both as a leader and with the likes of Roy Haynes, Michael Brecker, Kenny Garrett and Richard Bona.  Born in Paris in 1960, where he taught himself piano, Pilc truly came into his own after moving to the United States and forming his longstanding trio featuring fellow Frenchman, bassist François Moutin (with whom he recorded his debut album, Funambule, in Paris in 1989) and the flexible Philadelphian drummer, Ari Hoenig.  An innovator with a deeply personal style of his own, Pilc has been called “musical genius’” by the Washington Post, while the New York Time’s Ben Ratliff astutely described him as “a splashy stunner who also has a Rubik's-cube mind for chord substitutions."

True Story, Pilc’s sixth album as a leader for Dreyfus since he began recording for the label back in 2001 with his Welcome Home, introduces the pianist’s remarkable new trio featuring veteran drummer Billy Hart and the great Russian born Mingus Dynasty bassist Boris Kozlov.  The program, predominantly composed by the leader himself, including the five part title track suite, continues on the idiosyncratic path blazed on his previous dates, with music that is both dazzling and unpredictable.  In addition to his other compositions, which include the classically tinged tribute “Mornings With Franz”, he also performs an original arrangement of Schubert’s “Relic” and typically unconventional interpretations of Cole Porter’s “My Heart Belongs To Daddy” and Tom Jones’ pop hit “Try To Remember”, with the former reimagined as a tango and latter serving as an Evanescent impressionistic journey.

Perhaps the least known artist presented in the European Modernist series, Rosario Giuliani is nonetheless an important new voice on the international music scene.  Born in Terracina, Italy in the saxophonist achieved deserved recognition when voted the best new talent in the 2000 critics poll Top Jazz conducted by Musica Jazz magazine. Since then he has gone on to garner attention for his work with artists like Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Cedar Walton, Marc Johnson, Charlie Haden, Phil Woods, Mark Turner and Jeff "Tain" Watts, as well as many of Europe’s best players.  Possessing a virtuosic technique reflecting a range of influences from Charlie Parker and Lee Konitz to John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter, Giuliani has proven himself to be a significant addition to the lineage of jazz saxophonists, capable of contributing valuably in a variety of situations.

Lennie’s Pennies, Giuliani’s tenth album as a leader and his fifth for Dreyfus, may well be the saxophonist’s best effort to date. Leading a quartet featuring Paris born Pierre de Bethmann on piano and Fender Rhodes, with expatriate Philadelphian Darryl Hall on bass and Joe La Barbera on drums, Giuliani proves himself to be a first rate on alto saxophone (which he plays exclusively on the date, eschewing the soprano sax that he has doubled on excellently on previous cd’s).  Opening with a blistering tempoed reading of Lennie Tristano’s title track, the leader leaves no doubt whatsoever concerning his powerful voice and technique. Elsewhere he expresses both a dreamy sensitivity, as well as a willingness to stretch boundaries when appropriate.  The program, which includes four originals penned by the leader and two from de Bethmann, as well as a couple of standards, Heyman and Young’s “Love Letters” and Irving Berlin’s “How Deep Is The Ocean” and a pair of modern jazz classics, Joe Zawinul’s “74 Miles Away” and Jimmy Rowles’ “The Peacocks” is one that should satisfy forward looking fans of straight ahead jazz.

Ironically, as modern technology and the internet makes the planet seem smaller and smaller, the jazz world continues to expand exponentially with creative artists from all over contributing their individual voices and homegrown influences to the music’s ever growing canon. The four artists featured on the Dreyfus European Modernist series, Aldo Romano, Philip Catherine, Jean-Michel Pilc and Rosario Giuliani, are each important voices in this once all-American music, reflecting the new wide world of contemporary jazz.

The Donna Jean Godchaux Band with Jeff Mattson

The DJGB is pleased to announce that Mom brought us up right and taught us to share. And while the DJGB w/JM isn’t going anywhere (except on the road and to musical venues near your house!), we’re happy to lend our sterling lead guitarist, Jeff Mattson, to our friends at Dark Star Orchestra in their time of need. Hey – we like him too!

Jeff will be sitting in with DSO on:

11/16 Mon McCarter Theater, Princeton, NJ

11/18 Wed State Theater, Ithaca, NY

11/19 Thu The Klein, Bridgeport, CT

11/20 Fri Calvin Theatre, Northampton, MA

11/21 Sat Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, MA

For breaking news, check www.donnajeangodchauxband.com

Announcing the Donna Jean Godchaux Band w/ Jeff Matson

Donna Jean- for the Grateful Web

A band, like every living thing, needs to evolve. Donna Jean Godchaux and Jeff Mattson are pleased to announce that "Donna Jean and the Tricksters" has morphed into the – see above!

Donna Jean Godchaux – lead vocals

Jeff Mattson – lead guitar, vocals

David MacKay – bass, vocals

Clint Bailey – keyboards, vocals

Joe Chirco – drums

Rock and roll and lots more, delivered with Muscle Shoals-trained soul and inspiration. Fine original material plus a nod to Donna Jean's deep roots with lots of Grateful Dead songs, too.

All things pass, but the seeds that were silent burst into bloom. Look out – this flower will thrive.

The band will be stepping out in April with a full tour, and will be widely seen on the summer festival circuit.

Bios:

Donna Jean Godchaux

Born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Donna Jean was a vocalist at both Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and Fame Studios, home of the legendary "Muscle Shoals Sound," on records like Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," Percy Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman," and Boz Scagg's eponymous first solo album. She moved to San Francisco, married Keith Godchaux, and spent the 1970s as a vocalist in the Grateful Dead as well as the Jerry Garcia Band. After life with the Dead, she and Keith created the Heart of Gold Band with drummer Greg Anton and guitarist Steve Kimock.

Following various side trips, she resumed serious focus on her singing in the '90s, recording a new Heart of Gold Band album, At the Table, and singing with Phil & Friends and her own Donna Jean Band.

Jeff Mattson

Jeff came to prominence as the lead guitarist, primary vocalist, and leader of Long Island's legendary Grateful Dead-influenced jam band, the Zen Tricksters. Over the course of thirty years, his supple, elegant playing reflected a fusion of rock, blues, bluegrass, country, jazz and folk stylings, along with a healthy dose of psychedelia. His songwriting credits include the exquisitely mournful "Shelter" (co-written with Donna Jean), as well as "Travelin' Light," (co-written with Melissa Marston), "He Said/She Said," (with Donna Jean), and "A Prisoner Says His Piece," all for Donna Jean and the Tricksters. He also contributed "Leave Me Out of This" to Phil Lesh and Friends' There and Back Again. He played with Phil Lesh and Friends in 1999.

David MacKay

David hails from Marin County, California. As part of the emerging Bay Area music scene of the 70's, he was a founding member of the popular band the "Tasmanian Devils" and recorded and toured with Michael Nesmith, playing bass on the first Grammy-winning video, "Elephant Parts." He was a member of both the original and reformed "Heart of Gold Band." Most recently, he has played bass with the Muscle Shoals-based group "The Fiddleworms."

Clint Bailey

Is a native of Huntsville, Alabama, and a well-respected member of the Muscle Shoals music scene and the band the Fiddleworms.  He has played on occasion with "Donna Jean the Tricksters" and with Jason Isbell (Drive By Truckers).  He began on piano at the age of 15, and then found the Hammond B-3 and became permanently hooked.  He is a strong songwriter, touching the Southern wellsprings of rock, soul, gospel, blues, and New Orleans styles, and contributed the title track to the Fiddleworms' Volkswagen Catfish.

Donna Jean & the Tricksters New Album 'HGR 129' Out 01.28.08

Donna Jean & the Tricksters- for the Grateful Web

Donna Jean Godchaux MacKay was born to sing, and over the course of time she's done so with people like Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge, Boz Scaggs, and Jerry Garcia. Now she has a new band that she's quite certain is on a creative par with anything she's ever done. "This band is a perfect fit for me as a singer/songwriter," she said recently, "and I hope to be doing this for a long time to come. We're having so much fun with this music!" The Grateful Dead alumna has joined up with six members of the next musical generation – Mookie Siegel (David Nelson Band; formerly Phil & Friends, RatDog), Wendy Lanter (Hope in Time), and Jeff Mattson, Tom Circosta, Klyph Black and Dave Diamond (Zen Tricksters) to form Donna Jean and the Tricksters. Look out!

Things have come full circle and anything's possible. Oh, sure, they're gonna jam. But the band has seven vocalists and an incredible array of songwriting talent, and DJ&tT is going to make waves in ways you'd never anticipate. Born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Donna Jean was a vocalist at both Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and Fame Studios, home of the legendary "Muscle Shoals Sound," on records like Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves a Woman," and Boz Scagg's eponymous first solo album. She moved to San Francisco, married Keith Godchaux, and spent the 1970s as a vocalist in the Grateful Dead as well as the Jerry Garcia Band. After life with the Dead, she and Keith created the Heart of Gold Band with drummer Greg Anton.

Following various side trips, she resumed serious focus on her singing in the '90s, recording a new Heart of Gold Band album, At the Table, and singing with Phil & Friends and her own Donna Jean Band. But it was at a benefit concert for the Dead's Rex Foundation in 2006, The Black Tie-Dyed Ball, that she bonded with the Tricksters and decided that she'd found her future. The Zen Tricksters began on Long Island in the early 1980s. Lead by guitar wizard Jeff Mattson, the ZT have played for more than 20 years, establishing records at the legendary Wetlands Preserve and taking part in every Gathering of the Vibes. With Klyph Black on funky, blues-based bass and vocals (and slide and dobro), Tom Circosta on rhythm guitar and vocals, and Dave Diamond on drums, percussion, and vocals, the ZT rapidly became known as the best Dead-oriented band around – and a great deal more. After a substantial career doing session work, Wendy Lanter joined with Tom Circosta to create the band Hope in Time as a platform for their original music. She is a fabulous vocalist, adding angelic harmonies to Donna Jean's work. Finally, Mookie Siegel (keyboards and vocals) emerged from Baltimore in the '80s to become a member of such bands as the David Nelson (New Riders of the Purple Sage) Band, Bob Weir's RatDog, and Phil Lesh & Friends.

Yet this band – a felicitous combination of experience and youth, with skills that cross all musical genres and defy category – is a great deal more than even the sum of its parts. Something happened when they met – and DJ&tT is now (3/07) going into the studio to show you what that was.

Donna Jean & the Trickters new CD, HGR 129, streets on January 28th. The CD is disributed by DIG Music (part of the Rykodisc network) to your cool local neighborhood record store, so go check it out!

Donna Jean and the Tricksters

photos copyright of DJ & the Tricksters- for the Grateful Web

Donna Jean Thatcher (Godchaux MacKay) was born to sing, and over the course of time she's done so with people like Elvis Presley, Percy Sledge, Boz Scaggs, and Jerry Garcia. Now she has a new band that she's quite certain is on a creative par with anything she's ever done. "This band is a perfect fit for me as a singer/songwriter," she said recently, "and I hope to be doing this for a long time to come. We're having so much fun with this music!" The Grateful Dead alumna has joined up with six members of the next musical generation – Mookie Siegel (David Nelson Band; formerly Phil & Friends, RatDog), Wendy Lanter (Hope in Time), and Jeff Mattson, Tom Circosta, Klyph Black and Dave Diamond (Zen Tricksters) to form Donna Jean and the Tricksters. Look out! Things have come full circle and anything's possible. Oh, sure, they're gonna jam. But the band has seven vocalists and an incredible array of songwriting talent, and DJ&tT is going to make waves in ways you'd never anticipate. Born in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Donna Jean was a vocalist at both Muscle Shoals Sound Studios and Fame Studios, home of the legendary "Muscle Shoals Sound," on records like Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds," Percy Sledge's "When A Man Loves a Woman," and Boz Scagg's eponymous first solo album. She moved to San Francisco, married Keith Godchaux, and spent the 1970s as a vocalist in the Grateful Dead as well as the Jerry Garcia Band. After life with the Dead, she and Keith created the Heart of Gold Band with drummer Greg Anton.

Following various side trips, she resumed serious focus on her singing in the '90s, recording a new Heart of Gold Band album, At the Table, and singing with Phil & Friends and her own Donna Jean Band. But it was at a benefit concert for the Dead's Rex Foundation in 2006, The Black Tie-Dyed Ball, that she bonded with the Tricksters and decided that she'd found her future. The Zen Tricksters began on Long Island in the early 1980s. Lead by guitar wizard Jeff Mattson, the ZT have played for more than 20 years, establishing records at the legendary Wetlands Preserve and taking part in every Gathering of the Vibes. With Klyph Black on funky, blues-based bass and vocals (and slide and dobro), Tom Circosta on rhythm guitar and vocals, and Dave Diamond on drums, percussion, and vocals, the ZT rapidly became known as the best Dead-oriented band around – and a great deal more. After a substantial career doing session work, Wendy Lanter joined with Tom Circosta to create the band Hope in Time as a platform for their original music. She is a fabulous vocalist, adding angelic harmonies to Donna Jean's work. Finally, Mookie Siegel (keyboards and vocals) emerged from Baltimore in the '80s to become a member of such bands as the David Nelson (New Riders of the Purple Sage) Band, Bob Weir's RatDog, and Phil Lesh & Friends. Yet this band – a felicitous combination of experience and youth, with skills that cross all musical genres and defy category – is a great deal more than even the sum of its parts. Something happened when they met – and DJ&tT is now (3/07) going into the studio to show you what that was.