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Matt Kane: Song Poems

Matt Kane came up in Hannibal, MO and, after his term at UMKC, he stayed and was on the scene. Now based in New York, Kane is a bandleader and composer, and is fully established as a master drummer and educator.

Matt Kane will be in Kansas City in early October, premiering his latest recording, Song Poems.

In a recent Facebook post, Kane shared a photo from the 1990s showing him at City Light. Mike Metheny is up front on metallic-gray EVI (electronic valve instrument) in a tan newsies cap, and Bob Bowman is in a white button-up and bolo tie, his hands along the long neck of his brown upright bass.

A younger Matt Kane has his eyes closed, grooving, concentrating. One stick is in the air. Kane writes in the post,

“I’m getting excited to play in KC again with the great Bob Bowman. Here’s a pick (sic) from the early 90s with Bob and that’s Mike Metheny on electric horn. Paul Smith was on piano that night and it was always a bright spot in my life to get to play with them. Bob and I will be at Corvino on Sat. Sept. 30 and at the Blue Room on Monday, Oct. 2nd both with Brant Jester on piano.”

A part of Ahmad Alaadeen’s Group 21 during his early days, Kane has blossomed and has become a true force of his own. He hosts a drum school by day, the Matt Kane School of Drumming, and gives back, drawing from the tradition. On his testimonials page, former student, Donovan Marshall of Paterson, New Jersey, sings Kane’s praises as a teacher:

“I got accepted to Berklee College of Music!! This journey would truly be impossible without God and the world’s greatest private percussion instructor and master drummer Matt Kane...”

Kane, as always, grooves hard, has presence and push, but has total control. No notes are lost. Each is precise and heard. Like a trumpet having a pure round sound, Kane also fills a room with clean attacks and round drum (and cymbal) strokes and notes. It takes time and attention to play that clean. And for the listener, it is a joy similar to watching an Olympic diver go through a set of perfect athletic moves mid-air, then enter the waver without a splash.

Kane has a lot to say and a lot to teach. He also has a wonderful new album that distills all of that into sound. Get it. And see Matt Kane, with Bob Bowman, when they return to Kansas City for performances September 30th and October 2nd.

--Kevin Rabas

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