CD Review: Daniel Matto – Groovin’ With The DMQ

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Sometimes you hear the right music at the right time.

I had that experience recently on a warm sunny day in Halifax.  I was driving and decided to put Daniel Matto’s new release Groovin’ With The DMQ into the car stereo.  I had never heard Matto’s music before, but I knew he was a Jazz vocalist.  My only concern was that “jazz vocalist” is  a genre of music that I am completely unfamiliar with, so I had no idea what to expect.  However, I figured it was time to give this CD a listen. And, you guessed it..the right music…at the right time.

The first song on the album is a cover of The Young Rascals “Groovin”.  From the moment the opening words “Groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon” played, I knew I had found one of my albums for the summer.  The best words to describe the song (and ultimately the album) are “pleasant” and “feel good”.  This was the perfect song for a perfect day. 

So who is Daniel Matto and what is the DMQ?

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Daniel Matto is a jazz vocalist originally from Australia.  He moved to Halifax in 2007.  Groovin’ With The DMQ is his second album.  His first, I’m Old Fashioned, was released in 2010 and  was nominated for Jazz Recording of the Year in the 2010 Music Nova Scotia Awards and the 2011 East Coast Music Awards. 

Before moving to Halifax, Matto was instrumentalist performing throughout Australia, Sweden and Finland in big bands and other ensembles. When he realized his true musical passion was singing, Matto went on to study voice at the Australian Conservatory of Music in Sydney.

 As a jazz vocalist, Daniel started a lounge-styled band, The Martini Orchestra, one that mixed original songs with tunes from the likes of Burt Bacharach and Sinatra. His vocal chops soon caught the attention of some of Australia’s leading jazz musicians, including internationally-acclaimed pianist Dave MacRae and singer Joy Yates, who became something of a mentor. He went on to perform with Yates and MacRae at some high-profile jazz festivals in Australia and New Zealand.

Matto now calls Halifax home, performing regularly in clubs and festivals on the East Coast. He has performed as guest soloist with Symphony Nova Scotia and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra.

The DMQ is the Daniel Matto Quintet.  The DMQ is made up of  Matto (vocals) Silvio Pupo Montero (Piano), Eric Landry (Trombone), Danny Parker (Double Bass) and Brock Caldwell (Drums).

A Great Album For Summer

62422803Groovin’ With The DMQ truly is a great album for summer listening.   The album is bookended with the feel good covers of “Groovin'” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)”.  In between Matto serenades the listener with his soothing voice, while the rest of the DMQ play along masterfully.  Aside from “Groovin'” and “Feelin’ Groovy”, my favourite songs on this album are “Listen”, “On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)” and “Sun”.  On all the songs, Matto shows the ability to take the listener to a peaceful place.

I would encourage you to give Groovin’ With The DMQ a listen and then head out to the CD release at The Carleton on June 12th.   Hopefully, I’ll see you there.

Track Listing
1. Groovin’
2. Once I Loved (Oh Amor Em Paz)
3. Listen
4. Oh, You Crazy Moon
5. Moon
6. On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)
7. Sun
8. How Deep Is The Ocean
9. The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)

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