"Matt Kane is a great young drummer who will rightfully be viewed as one of jazz's rising new stars" -Michael Carvin
Matt Kane and the Kansas City/New York connection (by Chuck Haddix)
Originally from Hannibal, Missouri, which is best known as the boyhood home of Mark Twain and the setting for the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, drummer Matt Kane cut his musical teeth in Kansas City. One of four cradles of jazz along with New Orleans, Chicago and New York, Kansas City was known for its hard-swinging style pioneered by Count Basie, Jay McShann, Mary Lou Williams, Charlie Parker and hundreds of other jazz greats.
Arriving in 1989, Kane became immersed in Kansas City’s vibrant jazz scene, where musicians test each other’s musical mettle during all-night jam sessions. Shortly after moving to Kansas City, Kane, armed with more ambition than experience, sat in at a jam session at the legendary Mutual Musicians Foundation. When Kane faltered during the first few minutes a tune, bassist Daahoud Williams, stopped the band cold and told the young drummer that "kid's night is on Wednesday." Like Charlie Parker, who was rebuffed by Jo Jones during a session at the famed Reno Club in the 1936, Kane retreated to the woodshed and honed his chops. Two years later, Kane returned to the jam session at the Foundation, where he was warmly embraced by Williams, who marveled at the young drummer’s musical transformation.
Kane learned his craft from Williams, the McFadden Brothers, Ida McBeth and other veterans of the Kansas City scene. He quickly became known as the “Main Cat” on the drums. In 1995, Kane joined Ahmad Alaadeen’s Deans of Swing. An educator, composer and saxophonist, Alaadeen lead a stellar group of young musicians. While working with Alaadeen, Kane earned what Claude Fiddler Williams referred to as the “Kansas City stamp,” a distinctive style of playing that is instantly recognized by musicians internationally.
In 1997, Kane joined a long line of Kansas City musicians, stretching from Count Basie to Bobby Watson, who moved to New York to further their careers in the jazz mecca of the world. Since then, Kane has emerged as an in-demand sideman and session player noted for his swinging, rhythmically engaging style. He is also an educator, passing the tradition along at his Matt Kane School of Drumming. Now with this new group and CD, Kane has truly arrived.
Chuck Haddix is the coauthor with Frank Driggs of Kansas City Jazz: From Ragtime to Bebop—A History, Oxford University Press 2005.
His biography of Charlie Parker Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker will be published in the fall of 2013 by the University of Illinois Press.