Like vocalist Rene Marie, this composer-vocalist-arranger and band manager, Carolanne Matteson gave up singing rock and swing; then, took a 17-year timeout to raise four children. During this time, she also obtained a BA in philosophy and an MA in the history of art and architecture, after which she published several articles in journals.
But recently, she and her husband, Jim, returned to music. Ms. Matteson rediscovered her love for the bebop and hard bop music of Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, Ben Webster, Charles Lloyd, and Art Blakey; vocalists like Carmen McCrae and Sarah Vaughan; and composers like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Monk, and Hampton, which she had loved as a child.
Now, with fiery romanticism of vocal line, soft sensual curvatures or sassy phrasings, and a love of the muscularity of Afro-Latin rhythms--this unusual woman has formed her own jazz band -- actually bands. Her trio (guitar, bass, and vocals) works mostly in mainstream jazz for small rooms, providing the quiet upscale ambience required in that venue. Her quartet pushes the rhythmic element with more free style and world jazz overtones in her rearrangements of standards as well as her original compositions. The fusion quintet gives Matteson the full rhythmic freedom to scat, improvise, and phrase in a style sometimes evocative of a Betty Carter or a Carmen McCrae.
Matteson is joined in this group by bassist, Francisco of Acalpulco. In his early teens, Francisco began playing and traveling throughout Mexico and California with his father's big swing band. His love of the music is only equaled by sensitivity of his touch and the strength of his Latin-flavored pulse.
The kit drummer, Javier, brings a rhythmic enthusiasm to the enterprise, fresh, hard-hitting, but possessing an eloquent expression that knows the difference between a samba, mambo, and a bossa beat.
The jazz/rock guitarist is James, an ex-hippie-commune player, who played the Boulder, Colorado music scene in the late 60's in one of the first hippie bands, "Whispering Smith." Carolanne Matteson’s Jazz Band is an eclectic mix of players that works, bringing a fresh jazz perspective to the music scene in Southern California.