bio |

mat walerian

Mat Walerian. Jazz instrumentalist and Composer.

Mat Walerian is a jazz saxophonist and woodwind player (alto saxophone, bass clarinet, soprano clarinet, flute), composer and bandleader who specializes in improvisation and avant-garde music.

His studies were mostly focused on eastern philosophy and Japanese culture. Walerian's most notable collaborators are pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist William Parker and drummer/percussionist Hamid Drake, with whom he has released around ten different projects. With the exception of a few lessons he is self-taught musician, occasionally taking lessons from Shipp, lessons which he has cited as being crucial to his development.

Musician is signed to legendary New York, Brooklyn based label ESP-Disk', one of the most important independent record labels in the history of avant-garde jazz, founded in 1963, which catalogue includes some of the most important music recorded in America in the 1960s.

Albums he released received rave reviews within definitive sources in the music business, including The New York Times, Downbeat Music Magazine, All About Jazz, JAZZIZ Magazine, JazzTimes, All Music, The New York City Jazz Record, The Wire, JazzWise Magazine London, Aftenposten Norway, Jazz Magazine France, Los Angeles Jazz Scene, or Something Else Reviews among others.

Renowned New York sources, like Culture Catch, Gapplegate Music Review, Jazz Right Now, or Downtown Music Gallery, as well as Israel based The Soundtrack Of My Life, being one of most notable voices worldwide, praised his consecutive releases.

Walerian's trio was also recommended by higly acclaimed writer Doug Ramsey, Downbeat and Jazz Times magazines lifelong writer and recipient of two ASCAP Deems Taylor Awards and the lifetime achievement award of the US Jazz Journalists Association, who is the author of several jazz history books, including The Jazz Matters. Reference work containing an encyclopedic directory of Polish jazz recordings, Polish Jazz Recordings and Beyond, calls Walerian "one of the most talented young jazz musicians on the Polish scene, if not the most talented".

Released albums were repeatedly chosen as ’Editor's Pick’ after premiere, annually ending on 'Best of the Year' album list by varied sources.

Two biggest names in audiophile world, being The Absolute Sound and Stereophile New York, awarded his albums with highest notes.

Walerian's music made it to #1 position both on US and Canada Jazz Charts, with albums being presented by a large number of radio stations worldwide, including New York, Los Angeles, Washington D.C, Chicago, New Orleans, St.Louis, Santa Monica, Seattle, Denver, or Nebraska in the US ; Toronto, Montreal, or Vancouver in Canada ; London UK, and Polish National Public Radio.

His style is firmly in the mainstream of modern jazz and improvised music, somewhere around hard free bop with a tribute to the atonal avant-garde heritage. Classical music, jazz classics and the classical music of Japan and India have all left a distinct impression on his creation. Mat cooperates in diverse musical projects with musician who represent various musical streams; jazz, classical, contemporary, improvised avant-garde music and electronica.

His musical projects include THE UPPERCUT, M-THEORY PROJECT, TOXIC, JUNGLE, OKUDEN, SAINTHUNTER, WHITE LOTUS, ZEN, MUTANT DEFINITION, or BLACKADMIN among others. In his projects Mat mixes classical chamber music, jazz classics and Asian scales along with the modern expression of improvised music. As side person together with bassist Michael Bisio and drummer Whit Dickey he represents Matthew Shipp Sonic Fiction Quartet ; also being a part of pianist's sextet - Matthew Shipp Accoustic Ensemble Inward Motion project.

Since 2010 he is an art director for the OKUDEN MUSIC, described as "sound to the deepest" concert series, presenting the mainstream of modern jazz and improvised avant-garde.

Mat loves nature and experiencing wildlife phenomena.

Honorable mentions and rankings :

_ 2015 _

# Honorable Mention Best of the Year Release 2015 by The New York City Jazz Record, New York

[for The Upprecut project - duo with Matthew Shipp]

_ 2016 _

# Honorable Mention Best of the Year Release 2016 by The New York City Jazz Record, New York
# Best Records of 2016 by Jazz Right Now, New York

[for Jungle project - trio with Matthew Shipp and Hamid Drake]

_ 2017 _

# Best of the Year Avant-Garde by Something Else! Reviews, USA
# My Best of 2017 by Sam Stephenson The Jazz Loft Project, USA
# Best of the Year 2017 by Lawyers, Guns and Money, USA

[for Toxic project - trio with Matthew Shipp and William Parker]

_ 2018 _

# The Best of 2018 by Jazz Journalist Association, USA
# Nr 1 in Top 5 Jazz Albums Of 2018 by AlbanyJazz, New York
# Honorable Mention Best of the Year Release 2018 by CNN Gene Seymour, USA
# Best Albums of 2018 by Paste Magazine, Atlanta
# Best of 2018 by Jazz Portugal, Portugal

[for Matthew Shipp Quartet feat. Mat Walerian]

_ 2020 _

# Best releases of 2020 by All About Jazz, New York
# Best Releases of 2020 by Jazz Journalist Association, USA
# Best Jazz Albums of 2020 by Jazz Trail NY Jazz Scene, New York
# Best of 2020 by Avant Music News, Chicago
# Best Jazz Album of 2020 by Masayuki Sasaki, Kyoto, Japan
# Favorite 2020 Albums by Las Vegas Weekly, Las Vegas
# Favorite releases of 2020 by One Mans Jazz, Maurice Hogue, USA
# Best of the Year Top 10 Albums of 2020 by The Free Jazz Collective, Belgium
# Music from behind a mask: Schell’s picks for 2020 by Sequenza21, The Contemporary Classical Music Community, USA

[for Okuden project - quartet with Matthew Shipp, William Parker and Hamid Drake]