Monarch artists fly high
Publication Date: Friday Jul 5, 1996

Monarch artists fly high

Small West Coast record label has some giants of jazz, and they're coming to the Stanford Jazz Workshop

by Jim Harrington

Monarch Records will be well represented at the 24th annual Stanford Jazz Workshop festivities. The small, San Francisco-based label was co-founded about two years ago by Palo Alto resident Steve Hall. It's a specialty operation that focuses on the recordings of West Coast jazz artists.

"We believe that there is a real wealth of jazz artists, particularly in Northern California," said Dmitri Matheny, Monarch Records general manager and recording artist.

Matheny is one of three Monarch artists who will play during the Stanford Jazz Workshop, which begins tonight, July 5, and continues through Aug. 10. Matheny, a noted flugelhornist, will share a concert bill with label-mate Dave Ellis on July 19 at 8 p.m. at the Campbell Recital Hall. Both Matheny and Ellis will perform with their respective quintets. Jazz great Clarke Terry rounds out the Monarch triple play on Aug. 5.

Matheny has studied with legendary flugelhornist Art Farmer and recently released a debut disc "Red Reflections" on Monarch. Matheny's style goes hand in hand with his instrument's sound. The flugelhorn is much like the more-familiar trumpet, only with a warmer, more lyrical and prettier sound, Matheny said. And Matheny steers clear of the challenging blasts that characterize much of jazz, instead using his "beautiful lyrical sense" to drive his music, according to Jim Nadel, Stanford Jazz Festival director.

"Dmitri is about melody," Nadel said. "He's about being musical all the time."

Tenor saxophonist Ellis is a native of Berkeley who has made a name for himself on the Bay Area music scene. He was a founding member of the popular Charlie Hunter Trio in 1992, which he would later leave to lead his own band. His saxophone efforts were recognized in 1995 and 1996, with back-to-back Bammie Award nominations for outstanding reeds/brass player.

Ellis's debut Monarch release is scheduled for release sometime this fall.

The Monarch parade, some would say, hits its peak with the Aug. 5 concert appearance of veteran jazz man Clark Terry. The 75-year-old flugelhornist, known as one of the early trumpet influences on Miles Davis, has played in the bands of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Jimmy Heath.

"Clark is one of the legends of jazz," Nadel said.

Saxophonist Harold Land shares the bill with Terry at Dinkelspiel Auditorium.

And those who turn out for the evening of Terry's horn-blowing improvisation will also become part of recorded history. Matheny plans to record Terry's show for release as a live album on the Monarch label.

Who: Dmitri Matheny and Dave Ellis quintets

When: 8 p.m., Friday, July 19

Where: Campbell Recital Hall, Stanford University

Cost: $14 and $12

Information: 725-ARTS

Who: Clark Terry and Harold Land

When: 7:30 p.m., Monday, Aug. 5

Where: Dinkelspiel Auditorium, Stanford University

How much: $20 and $16

Information: 725-ARTS. 

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