“Slocum is not just a tasteful polyrhythmic drummer, whose subtle use of brushes and mallets brings shading and colour to his playing and who swings whatever the tempo, but also a composer of considerable promise… A debut album of great distinction. You’ll hear new subtleties every time. Thoroughly recommended.” Four stars
-Jazzwise UK (March 2010)
One of his generation's most highly regarded drummers ... Matt Slocum is more than a rising star drummer—he is a composer of startling melodic sophistication.
-Andrea Canter, JazzPolice (February 2010)
Matt Slocum's multicolored traps-at times forceful or delicate, creatively painting varied tempos with the essence of swing�define the drummer's debut, Portraits. Hailing from St. Paul, Minnesota, Slocum's introduction carries forward the torch of patriarchs Max Roach and Elvin Jones amongst others, but he also carves out his own rhythmic patterns with young contemporaries such as Eric Harland and Johnathan Blake... Present day jazz is clearly not stagnate in the very good hands (and sticks) of Matt Slocum-a young drummer who plays with empathy and verve.
-Mark F. Turner, All About Jazz (March 2010)
Portraits reaches #14 on the Jazzweek national jazz radio chart.
“Matt ‘gets’ Philly Joe Jones and Roy Haynes as good as any other drummer I know, and has managed to infuse his drumming with his own style-the man has found his drumming voice, and at an early age! Talent and hard work. Matt was always one of my favorite students at USC. Matt’s jazz credentials seem to be in order. Names and university degrees don’t say it all, however. The bottom line qualification for any jazz endeavor is that the music has to swing. This record swings.”
“Very impressive . . . A smoking drummer with plenty of taste ... splendid timing, dynamics and ideas. He's a master of the current sense of swing. Highly recommended.”
-Brick Wahl, LA Weekly (October 2009/March 2010)
This auspicious debut should put Matt Slocum's name firmly on the jazz map.
-Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide (March 2010)
“With this excellent premiere, Slocum steps out of the box as the full package.”
-Terrell Kent Holmes, All About Jazz New York (January 2010)
It's a thrill to hear Matt's creativity, artistic diversity and sound statements on this wonderful outing of his. I take personal pride in watching his amazing growth, having observed him since his college years. Matt has big ears, huge talent and always plays the sensitivity that everyone experiences in his personality.
“Slocum’s modern tunes and arrangements have a warm patina and nourish the ears. Portraits is an understated gem and Slocum a genuine discovery.” Four stars
-Icon (January 2010)
A promising young drummer.
-Los Angeles Times (March 2010)
(Slocum) has already developed his own modern style ... this CD has the quality to make him internationally known.
-Hans Bernd-Kittlaus, Kind of Blue Reviews (February 2010)
Slocum takes chances, and understands how to use the drums as an instrument to provide the right coloration, not just the right beat ... Portraits establishes Matt Slocum as a leader who doesn't just pay lip service to the post-bop tradition, he immerses himself in it in a way that reminds us why we fell in love with that kind of music in the first place.
-somethingelsereviews.com (February 2010)
“An awesome trio … expresses the drummer’s swinging, slightly non-mainstream leanings with exceptional mates.”
-Greg Burk (October 2009)
“Matt Slocum's debut is filled with good melodies, smart arrangements, strong solos, and great promise … a rewarding adventure for the listener.”
-Richard Kamins, StepTempest (January 2010)
There are sophisticated harmonies and simple melodies twisted ever so slightly to tug on the memory. Shadows prances atmospherically like a Wayne Shorter tune, and, like many Dave Holland songs, manages the trick of sounding busy and spacious at once. The mood ranges from the simmering sax workout of Homage to the gently skewed ballad For Alin — named for Slocum's longtime girlfriend — to the upward glide of Seven Stars, a saxophone conversation featuring Jaleel Shaw on alto and Dayna Stephens on tenor ... With reviews like the rave at Allaboutjazz.com — Slocum steps out of the box as the full package — Portraits, released on tiny Chandra Records, should enhance his burgeoning reputation among the jazz cognoscenti.
-Britt Robson, Minneapolis Star Tribune (February 2010)
Slocum seems to have a fine touch on the skins, playing with pleasing melodicism, slithery sense of swing, and a keen attention to subtleties, which really shines through his mallet work on Billy Strayhorn's Daydream. ... The eight Slocum originals that round out the album display a refined, post-bop intelligence ranging from the lush romanticism of For Alin to the scintillating Shadows.
-Rick Mason, Minneapolis City Pages (February 2010)
Matt Slocum has created a very good CD here. The playing is top notch, and Matt's compositions are very engaging. I recommend!!! -Alan Pasqua
Some drummers lead groups that feature their own muscular playing. Matt Slocum, on his debut disc, Portraits, is more of a colorist and thoughtful composer-leader, although he can certainly pull out all the stops when he wants to.
-Barry Bassis, NY Town & Village (January 2010)
St. Paul native Matt Slocum is making a name for himself in the jazz world and New York City.'
-Dan Emerson, St. Paul Pioneer Press (February 2010)