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Acoustic Jazz Quartet
Jamie Findlay - guitars
David Sills - saxophones
Zac Matthews - bass
Dean Koba - drums
About the music
Since they’re based in Southern California, the Acoustic Jazz Quartet could be forgiven for its smooth and laid back attitude. Fronted by saxophonist David Sills and guitarist Jamie Findlay, their smooth and sweet sounds are ‘easy to listen to* as opposed to ‘Easy Listening*. The tasty tone of the sax and guitar combo makes for an intoxicating set as Findlay alternates between chord-heavy fills and a plucky spirited style that complements the jovial nature of the tunes. Whether it’s a West Coast fusion jam or an old-swing shuffle, the quartet never feels un-relaxed. Sit back, grab a wine-cooler and chill.
About the group
Findlay, who taught in the jazz program at the University of Southern California (USC), first met Koba on a rock date at the Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park in the early *90s. He encountered him again at USC, when Koba was a graduate student. Matthews was also at USC at the same time; eventually the three formed a trio. In another trio, Findlay and the bassist played with Canadian saxophonist Bill Prouten; when that trio ended, they sought out Sills and, in 1996, the AJQ was born. Each member of AJQ resides in Southern California, where they’re integral parts of the jazz and popular music scene. Collectively, they’ve worked with such formidable artists as Pete Christlieb, Bill Watrous, Walter Norris, Benny Bailey, Alex Acuña, Jeff Clayton and Cecilia Coleman.
Jamie Findlay, from Seattle WA., moved to Los Angeles in 1974. He studied at Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa and the Musicians* Institute in Hollywood * from which he graduated in 1979 and where he now teaches. He has two albums, Wings Of Light and Amigos del Corazón, the latter a solo guitar recording. Findlay * who is also a member of the Bah*’í Faith choir * has an active solo career, often travelling to Europe, where last May he played at a festival in Osnabrueck, Germany with such notables as Leo Kottke, Ralph Towner and Alex de Grassi.
David Sills, from Manhattan Beach, started playing saxophone at age ten. He earned a BM in Classical Saxophone from California State University Long Beach, and then studied jazz with the esteemed reedman, Gary Foster. Sills has made two albums: Hanging Five (Resurgent), and Journey Together (Naxos Jazz).
Zac Matthews, from Pullman, WA., lived in London as a youth. He moved to Los Angeles in 1992, earning his master’s at USC, where his primary teacher was John Clayton. An “Outstanding Graduate* of both that school and Washington State University, the bassist has been spotlighted at the Aspen (Co.) Snowmass Jazz Festival and the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop at Port Townsend, WA. Matthews has also appeared on recordings for Motown records and has played on several film and TV soundtracks.
David Koba is from Honolulu, Ha., but moved to the U.S. mainland in 1981. He earned a BM in percussion from Northwestern University. At USC, from which he received his MA, he studied with Jeff Hamilton and Joe LaBarbera. He’s twice resided in Hamburg, Germany, and currently lives in Long Beach, working regularly at such clubs as Steamer’s in Fullerton.
Visit Acoustic Jazz Quartet's web site at : www.acousticjazzquartet.com
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ACOUSTIC JAZZ QUARTET