Presciently stripped from the headlines, the term dead cat bounce denotes a small, brief recovery in the price of a declining stock. To the artists in Dead Cat Bounce, it signifies one’s dedication to creative rebirth and renewal even as times, traditions and masters move on.
Featuring four saxophones of all ranges plus upright bass and drums, Dead Cat Bounce since 1997 has been the unique artistic vision of founder and composer Matt Steckler. Word of DCB’s high caliber as a performance ensemble has brought them to festivals and concerts nationally, and garnered distinctions from Meet the Composer, Chamber Music America, American Composers Forum, American Music Center, Boston Music Awards, Jazz Times, The Washington Post, Cadence and many others in the creative music community.
Dead Cat Bounce invokes Charles Mingus and the World Saxophone Quartet with their "tightly arranged, swirling contrapuntal reeds and multi-part, blues n’ roots-infused tricky compositions" (Jon Garelick, the Boston Phoenix). Their eclectic approach to rhythm is informed by traditions from the Caribbean, Deep South, Brazil, West Africa, Eastern Europe and Detroit. In Dead Cat Bounce, solo and collective improvisations energetically complement the poise of its ever-expanding compositional repertoire.
According to Dave Liebman, Dead Cat Bounce "does it all with exquisite writing, the subtle use of a bass-drum rhythm section and above all a definite sense of communication between the members that I am sure will be apparent to even the casual listener. These musicians are not just playing the music on the page, but listening and communing together."
Dead Cat Bounce’s members are on the cutting edge of today’s jazz, rock and world music scenes and have performed and/or recorded with: Dave Douglas, Steve Lacy, Ray Charles, Lonnie Plaxico, Roswell Rudd, Matt Wilson, Anthony Braxton, John Tchicai, Michael Cain, Pheeroan Aklaff, Curtis Fowlkes, Melvin Sparks, Leroy Jenkins, the Either/Orchestra, Miracle Orchestra, Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, Mango Blue and others. To boot, DCB’s lineup is comprised of great bandleaders in their own right, offering a heady combination of musicians both self-taught and mentored under such renowned artists as Danilo Pérez, Jerry Bergonzi, George Garzone, Jim McNeely, Bob Moses and Cecil McBee.
In 2011-12 Dead Cat Bounce toured to promote its fourth full-length album Chance Episodes (Best CD Lists: Downbeat and Jazz Times), and also created and performed its commissioned electroacoustic cycle Eco-Beat Heresy. To their résume add the globally merchandized and seminal recordings Home Speaks to the Wandering (Innova), Lucky By Association and Legends of the Nar (Chonsky), and you have in Dead Cat Bounce one of the most prolific and soul-searching bodies of work available to one Little Big Band That Could.
Please visit www.deadcatbounce.org and the official DCB Facebook Fan Page for more details and to join the mailing list for Dead Cat Bounce and other music of Matt Steckler.
Bill Carbone - Drums
Dave Ambrosio - Bass
Terry Goss - Sax
Charlie Kohlhase - Sax
Jared Sims - Sax
Chance Episodes - Cuneiform 2011
Home Speaks to the Wandering - Innova 2004
Legends of the Nar - Chonsky 2001
Lucky By Association - Chonsky 1998
Praise & Recognition - Dead Cat Bounce
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Best of 2011 CD Lists for Jazz Times, Examiner, Daily Gazette "Experience together is obvious on ...Best of 2011 CD Lists for Jazz Times, Examiner, Daily Gazette
"Experience together is obvious on this excellent collection of 11 Steckler originals, the blending of horns, or flutes and clarinet, superb..." - Downbeat (4 Stars)
"This enjoyable crafty recording is proudly episodic" - Jazziz
"...groovy, challenging, mercurial, and satisfying new release...." - Boston Globe
"Dead Cat Bounce brings a joyful, exuberant voice to the sculpture garden party." - NYC Jazz Record
"As a pure journey of sound, Chance Episodes tells an impressive story." - All About Jazz
"What carries through each piece is Steckler's gift for rich voicings among four horn players... Dead Cat's music doesn't joke around." – Mike Shanley, Jazz Times
"Steckler and his game-changing sextet wield this thesis like a sculptor with an industrial laser."
- State of Mind
"What one remembers most about it are the compulsive, seething grooves and the brawling saxophones... Great Stuff all around: for sheer snaggletoothed excitement Home Speaks to the Wandering is hard to beat." – Nate Dorward, Cadence
Recipient of a 2003 New Works: Presentation grant from Chamber Music America/Doris Duke Charitable Foundation
"[Matt Steckler’s] whip-smart sextet of four saxes, bass, and drums rolls through his multi-sectioned compositions with toe-tapping ease. Skewed tangos, deviant marches, churchy hymns, and dissonant abstraction, swing band riffs, collective improvisations, and individual solos roll and tumble their way over funky vamps, swinging grooves and unclassifiable beats. Great ensemble playing, high spirits, an endearing, but twisted, sense of fun make Dead Cat’s second release a winner." - Ed Hazell, Signal to Noise
"I am sure you will be impressed by the great writing, the originality of style, the wide variety of moods, individual solo efforts and most of all, a real group that is single minded and totally involved in the music." - Dave Liebman, saxophonist
Winner of Boston Phoenix Best Music Poll 2001 and 2002 in the category of Best Local Jazz Act
"Dead Cat Bounce epitomize the best of the Boston jazz scene – to make the most of working outside conventional commercial structures, to treat a band as a workshop of ideas, to look forward while drawing on the best of the past. Think of Mingus’s swirling counterpoint and rhythm shifts with the similarly rich voicings and solo-ensemble balance of the World Saxophone Quartet. What more could you ask for?" - Jon Garelick, The Boston Phoenix
Winner of Best Local Jazz at the 2002 Boston Music Awards and a 2002 Meet the Composer grant to premiere the suite Home Speaks to the Wandering in several cities on tour
"With Dead Cat Bounce twentysomething Boston saxophonist Matt Steckler livens up the mix: incorporating a sensibility weaned on rock and at least on speaking terms with jam bands, the music easily morphs from straight-ahead jazz rhythms into a cool backbeat, a tango lilt, or a punk-derived pulse… The writing offers enough variety to occasionally make you forget that all the music comes from these same six guys." - Neil Tesser, Chicago Reader Critic’s Choice
Critic’s Tip and Sound Choice honors from the Boston Globe 1/6/01 and 10/5/01:
"The six-piece group… has become one of Boston’s most original jazz units." - Bob Blumenthal, Boston Globe
"DCB revels in a reed-driven sound marked by sharply contrasting forms, textures and tones...strident, joyful, lush and strutting use of a horn section." - Mike Joyce, Washington Post
"Made of fresh ingredients, their music was all abrupt cadences, fast-mutating sonorities and jagged surfaces, but it was polished brightly to an impressive sheen, as the four-saxes-and-rhythm-section sextet just gets better and better. Dead Cat Bounce presented uncompromisingly challenging but often jubilant tunes… Smart, spirited and soulful, the music rocked to exciting effect all night."
- Michael Hochanadel, the Daily Gazette (NYS)
"Dead Cat Bounce is addictive...this group takes the sax quartet, mixes in bass and drums, and ends up with the unique sound that results when high caliber musicians share a musical vision and a love of innovation. DCB possesses these qualities, which combine to make Legends of the Nar a triumph." - Katie DeBonville, Northeast Performer, Spotlites Section
"[DCB’s] reputation – for knife-sharp technique, and formal and stylistic elasticity – is quickly beginning to precede them. The Cats drop proverbial science with headstrong melodic and structural foundations, Mingus-tinged arrangement sensibilities, and an almost Mancini-like accessibility and playfulness. They conjure solid, straightforward grooves as well as more interstellar regions, while continually presenting tight riffs, and expressing memorable melodies." - Jordan Weeks, Pittsburgh City Paper
"Straddling studied experimentation and flat-out irreverence… Home Speaks to the Wandering, with its self-consciously artsy song titles and ambling, pell-mell structures, offers pockets of bristling exuberance bordering on hyperactivity… the uniconventional roster yields hearty results, shining a light on the possibilities inherent in the interplay of tenor, alto, soprano and baritone."
– Kevin Forest Moreau, Atlanta Creative Loafing
"Working some of the outside-the-box terrain favored by bands such as the 29th Street Sax Quartet and the World Sax Quartet… Dead Cat Bounce manages to blend serious composition and improvisation with wit, never an easy trick to pull off."
- Bob Young, Boston Herald
"The solos are almost always exciting. The compositions nicely combine a gritty, bluesy feel with intricate, catchy heads. The final product is fun, good music, probably a lot of fun to shake your hips to. In other words, this is definitely worth a listen, and then several more." - Eric Saidel, Cadence Magazine
"Matt Steckler intones the frivolous and laughable - the distinctly non-uptight - with his compositions on Dead Cat Bounce’s Lucky By Association. [He] proves himself a talented composer, and this group shows substantial potential in revealing the best in his material." - Jonathan Babu, Northeast Performer, Spotlites Section
Featured on WGBH’s "Eric in the Evening", WERS 88.9 FM Boston, WBUR/National Public Radio's "Hear & Now", WEMU Ann Arbor, WGYU Grand Rapids, Miles Ahead Jazz Radio Chicago, KDHX St. Louis, KCCK Cedar Rapids, WHFR Dearborn MI, WMPG Portland ME, CHRW Ontario, KEUL Alaska, WAMC and WEXT Albany and many others...
typically an 8-song, 45-70 min. set; 2 sets average
all originals; some favorite titles are: Hepcat Revival, Adzes on the Atolls, I Once Was Vaccinated With a Phonograph Needle, etc...
PDF RiderDCB Tech Rider + Plot
There are no upcoming dates at this time.