Matthew Yeakley


ORENDA 0011AClean Numbers | The Matthew Yeakley Group
ORENDA 0011BDirty Words | The Matthew Yeakley Group

Matthew Yeakley is one of the Los Angeles jazz scene's most exciting and creative guitarists. An avid proponent of the development of a thriving community, he regularly hosts jam sessions at the city's most vibrant clubs and performs his own music with a variety of LA's finest musicians. His latest album features:

"Art is an odd thing, objective good's and bad's don't really exist.  You can say a brush stroke or an arpeggio were well executed, but that doesn't determine wether or not the finished piece will connect with the viewer or listener.  It's a completely subjective experience and we all know this, so let's let this be where we start when we ask the questions, 'Why does certain music or art connect with a person?  Why does Miles Davis' trumpet give me chills every time we hear it?  Why do we react viscerally to the work of Jean-Michel Basquiat?'


"When you hear great artists they are giving you themselves openly and honestly without filter, at least that's how I choose to view it.  So this has been my personal goal in composing for this group, is to speak honestly to the listener.  

"I have had the great pleasure of working with some of my favorite musicians on this project, all of whom have a voice on their instrument that I believe reflects that same search for honesty in music.  The core of this group is made up of Matt Politano on Piano, Cooper Appelt on Bass and Aaron McLendon on Drums.  Politano's encyclopedic knowledge of the jazz tradition and lyrical playing are on full display in this group, and the great depth of his knowledge is evident from note one.  It's impossible to talk about Appelt and McLendon separately when discussing their playing in this group, their playing is so intertwined one would assume at least half of their spontaneous ideas must be worked out ahead of time.  They both play with so much fire and an ear to the future, yet when restraint and tradition are called for there's no one better.  This trio of musicians are of the highest order to say the least.  Mike Cottone lends his soaring Trumpet sound to the group; lyrical, powerful, clear, urgent, these are the superlatives I would use for Mike's playing.  His playing is a clear illustration of honesty in music.  Zane Musa plays the Tenor Saxophone with this group and the best way to describe his playing is to tell a story.  Once after a gig with this group at the Blue Whale in downtown Los Angeles, one of the great supporters of the Los Angeles jazz scene Mr. Don Edmonson came up to me and said, "Zane Musa is a fire breathing dragon!"  Now Don went to over 400 jazz shows in 2013, so his opinion is well founded.  Zane plays with an unimaginable fire and knowing him as well as I do, I know how honest this fire is.

"Honesty is the goal of this group, from composition to performance we are here to give you an honest look at who we are, and what our art is."

— Matthew Yeakley