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Phil Mattson

Director

Phil Mattson

Phil Mattson is a pianist, arranger, conductor and teacher. His curriculum and teaching led to the establishment of The School for Music Vocations at Southwestern Community College in Creston, Iowa. Currently he resides in St. Paul, MN and leads The Phil Mattson Singers, a vocal jazz/choral ensemble.

Phil has served as Director of Choral Activities at Foothill College (CA) and Gonzaga University (WA) and has taught at Pacific Lutheran University (WA) and at The Phil Mattson School (WA). His undergraduate studies in Philosophy/Religion and Music were done at Concordia College (Moorhead, MN), summa cum laude, and his graduate work in Choral Literature and Conducting at The University of Iowa as an NDEA Fellow.

Phil has written many arrangements for vocal jazz ensemble and choir. Manhattan Transfer, Chanticleer, The Real Group, The Dale Warland Singers, The Four Freshmen, Clockwork, Beachfront, Solstice, Phoenix and Clarion Chamber Chorale are among the groups who have commissioned his arrangements. In addition, he edited the arrangements of Gene Puerling for publication.

As an accompanist, Phil has played with several notable singers and players, among them: Mark Murphy, Don Shelton, Sunny Wilkinson, Michele Weir, Jennifer Barnes, Barbara Morrison, Richie Cole, Ernestine Anderson, Carmen Lundy, Cornelius Bumpus, Carl Anderson, and Inga Sweringen. He has led the vocal jazz groups - pm singers, VoicesIowa and Vocalogy.

Phil served as Vocal Jazz Director for The Stan Kenton Clinics, ACDA National Repertoire and Standards Chair for Vocal Jazz and, annually, conducts the Carnegie Hall Vocal Jazz Festival. In the summer, Phil Mattson Vocal Jazz/Choral Workshops are presented on campuses in the United States, Canada and Europe. He has been nominated for two Grammy awards.

Discography

Displaying 1-12 of 12 items.


P.M. Singers : Jubilee : 00  1 CD : Phil Mattson : 

P.M. Singers : Jubilee

Review: Intricate arrangements and big and bold orchestrations, featuring saxophonist Richie Cole, characterize this six piece mixed group's sound, a pleasing mix of old and new jazz influences. The sound is suggestive of the Singers Unlimited in terms of complexity, though on "Waltz For Debby" and the tour-de-force (written by Clare Fischer) "The Quiet Side," the richness of the voicings invites comparisons to the Real Group. Speaking of "The Quiet Side," it is a seven minute exploration of form and tonality that begins a cappella, segues into a mid-tempo accompanied section that escalates in intensity using scat as it's medium, through an ascending sequence that descends again to the original introduction. "Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars" takes a vocal percussion idea which then evolves into a sultry duet with shimmering backups, "C'est Si Bon" is a throaty and suggestive interplay between voice and flugelhorn, with the horn part equal in importance to the arrangement. "Johnny One Note" is the Gene Puerling arrangement. A highly enjoyable and accomplished collection.

Songlist: Johnny One Note, C'Est Si Bon, Jubilee, Quiet Nights Of Quiet Stars', Stella By Starlight, Waltz For Debbie, My Melancholy Baby, The Quiet Side

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1115c 00 1 CD $14.98 Vocal Jazz CDs


P.M. Singers : Night In The City : 00  1 CD : Phil Mattson : 

P.M. Singers : Night In The City

Review: Formed in 1982 by students of the esteemed director Phil Mattson, members of the P.M. Singers became identified with the Phil Mattson School and many have gone on to great professional and academic success in their own right. (Two examples are Joe Finetti, who now sings with The Bobs, and Michele Weir, a respected educator and arranger.) This mixed group has the talent and range to master the most technical of charts, as well as the warmth and emotion to stir the heart-witness"A Child Is Born," with a facile piano accompaniment by Phil Mattson himself, who plays keyboards throughout. Many of the arrangements allow one voice to solo, adding and subtracting harmonies for interest and variety. "I'll BeSeeing You" is a cappella and allows the melody to shine, gradually opening up the song with a frugal harmony that never interferes, but builds to a subtle crescendo and then resolves to an elegant closing cadence, the lead voice holding the final note while the lower parts complete the subject. A pleasure to listen to and a model of arranging virtuosity.

Songlist: New York Afternoon, Desafinado, Body And Soul, I Hear Music, Night In The City, How Long Has This Been Goin' On, A Child Is Born, Jeanine, I'll Be Seeing You

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1116c 00 1 CD $14.98 Vocal Jazz CDs


Phil Mattson & Vocalogy : Is God A Three Letter Word For Love : 00  1 CD : Phil Mattson :  : 9001

Phil Mattson & Vocalogy : Is God A Three Letter Word For Love

Review: 1999 is the 100 year anniversary of the birth of the jazz master Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington - a genuine American hero. Though his accomplishments were many, Ellington characterized his sacred compositions, coming towards the end of his career, as "the most important thing I have ever done." Leave it to Phil Mattson and his Vocalogy ensemble (consisting of six faculty members at the Southwestern Community College School For Music Vocations), to record the first vocal group arrangements of these compositions (some are accompanied by a rhythm section as well). Ellington wrote these songs for a San Francisco concert at Grace Cathedral in 1965, and went on to perform this program internationally until his death in 1974. We have not heard the CD itself come presstime, but we understand that songs such as "In The Beginning God," "Come Sunday" and "Father Forgive," while spiritual and earthy, are written in the tried-and-true Ellington big-band style. An appropriate tribute indeed from Mr. Mattson.

Songlist: In The Beginning God, Is God A Three-Letter Word For Love?/ My Love, T.G.T.T., Ain't Nobody Nowhere Nothin' Without God, Father Forgive, Almighty God, The Shepherd, Something 'Bout Believing, Come Sunday, Heaven

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4164c 00 1 CD $14.98 Vocal Jazz CDs


Phil Mattson and VoicesIowa : Count Your Blessings : 00  1 CD : Phil Mattson : 

Listen to
Alfie

Phil Mattson and VoicesIowa : Count Your Blessings

Review: Formed at Southwestern Community College's School for Music Vocations in 1991, the mixed-voice sextet VoicesIowa was recently honored by Down Beat Magazine as "Vocal Jazz Group of the Year." Their repertoire also includes Renaissance part-songs, 19th and 20th century compositions and arrangements of contemporary music. Their Director Phil Mattson has been nominated twice for Grammy Awards. These 12 songs, recorded live at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN, feature Mattson-arranged winners like "Snow Covers the Valley," Bach's "Jesu, Meine Freude," Burt Bacharach's "Alfie," "Never Let Me Go," Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen's classic "Blues in the Night" and Irving Berlin's "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep." Ward Swingle's "Country Dances" and the Swingle-arranged "Satchmo," Duke Ellington's "Don't Mean A Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing," Anders Edenroth of the Real Group's "Friendship" and Bobby McFerrin's "Jubilee" are other favorites. Great stuff, from the first cut to the last!

Songlist: Since All Is Passing, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Snow Covers the Valley, Jesu, Meine Freude, Alfie, Jubilee, Never Let Me Go, Satchmo, Friendship, Blues in the Night, Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep), Country Dances

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7600c 00 1 CD $15.95 Vocal Jazz CDs


VoicesIowa : Here's To Life! : 00  1 CD : Phil Mattson : 

VoicesIowa : Here's To Life!

Review: The bouyant sound of the Voices Iowa, conducted and arranged by Phil Mattson, certainly one of the most prominent jazz educators in the field. Emanating from the same general neighborhood as the Singers Unlimited or Real Group, Voices Iowa actually covers one Real Group arrangement on this CD-"Sa Skimrande Var Aldrig Havet"-as well as Take 6's "Gold Mine," so they certainly set a high standard for themselves. "Blues In the Night" is smoky and seductive, "Satchmo" a picaresque tribute to Louis Armstrong that sets lyrics to a Joplin rag. "If I Loved You" is is an economical a cappella version that shows why Phil Mattson is so respected-every note is important, neither too many or too few. Five of the songs are accompanied.

Songlist: Here's To Life, Almighty God/Heaven, Gold Mine, Corcavado, Blues In The Night, If I Loved You, Satchmo, I Remember Clifford, Sa Skimrande Var Aldrig Havet

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1112c 00 1 CD $14.98 Vocal Jazz CDs


VoicesIowa : How Do You Keep the Music Playing : 00  1 CD : Phil Mattson : 

VoicesIowa : How Do You Keep the Music Playing

Review: Protogees of Phil Mattson, Voices Iowa are students at the prestigious School For Music Vocations/Southwestern Community College. Under such tutelage, one recognizes a burgeoning talent that will be the vocal jazz sound of tomorrow. Indeed, Bobby McFerrin's "Jubilee" is an athletic workout requiring stamina and fortitude, while, on the opposite end of the spectrum, "Body and Soul" demands an equal measure of control and abandon (the latter a Grammy nominated arrangement originally written for the Manhattan Transfer, and complimented by Richie Cole's saxophone). Cole Porter's "Love For Sale" (a cappella) is anchored by a finger-snapping rhythm and connected by walking bass notes, and finishes with an aexhilarating vocal glissando, a veritable firecracker.

Songlist: Since All is Passing, I Hear Music, How Do You Keep The Music Playing, Jubilee, Body And Soul, Yag Vet In Delig Rosa, Love For Sale, Embraceable You, Yours In My Heart Alone, Dancing In The Dark, Bons Amigos, That Lonesome Road

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1108c 00 1 CD $14.98 Vocal Jazz CDs


VoicesIowa : September Song : 00  1 CD : Phil Mattson : 

VoicesIowa : September Song

Review: Mixed sextet (3 men, 3 women) VoicesIowa, ably produced by the renowned Phil Mattson (who also did all the arrangements), brings us ten mellow jazz classics: George and Ira Gershwin's "Fascinating Rhythm" and 'S Wonderful," Kurt Weill's "Speak Low," "Mack The Knife" and "September Song," Duke Ellington's "I'm Beginning To See The Light," "Close Enough For Love," "I've Got You Under My Skin," Stevie Wonder's "That's What Friends Are For" and "I'm In The Mood For Love." VoicesIowa is associated with the excellent Southwestern Community College School For Music Vocations, where the CD was recorded. This is bright, crisp, tight-harmonied, stunningly arranged, lightly accompanied (bass, drums and piano), smoky cool vocal jazz.

Songlist: Facinating Rhythm, Speak Low, I'm Beginning to See the Light, Close Enough For Love, I've Got You Under My Skin, That's What Friends Are For, I'm In The Mood For Love, Mack The Knive, 'S Wonderful, September Song

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4492c 00 1 CD $14.98 Vocal Jazz CDs


VoicesIowa : Without A Song - Tribute To Hoagy Carmichael

Review: Renowned jazz educator Phil Mattson's sure touch is everywhere on "Without A Song;" all the arrangements are his, and he produces and plays light piano on the CD (bass and drums are also included on some cuts). Mattson protegees VoicesIowa, students or alumni of prestigious Southwestern Community College's School for Music Vocations (4 men, 2 women) have a bright, effortless sound that invites comparison with the Real Group and The Idea of North. Technically there are just 5 cuts on the CD, but on the first cut, for instance, a sleepy "Without A Song," segues into a scattish "The Song Is You," continues with a sweetly jazzy "You Are The Sunshine of My Life before returning to an upbeat "Without A Song" refrain; and cut 4, "A Hoagy Carmichael Tribute," includes the lightly accompanied "The Nearness of You," "Heart and Soul," "I Get Along Without You Very Well," "Georgia On My Mind," "Ole Buttermilk Sky," "Stardust," "Lazybones," "Two Sleepy People," "Skylark" and "Lazy River." Two a cappella tunes, "Alfie" and the final cut , "Over the Rainbow" are particularly nice. Mattson doesn't waste a note, and VoicesIowa is an apt, finely-tuned instrument for his genius.

Songlist: Without A Song , The Song Is You, You Are the Sunshine of My Life, Alfie, Just The Way You Are, The Nearness of You, Heart and Soul, I Get Along Without You Very Well, Georgia On My Mind, Ole' Buttermilk Sky, Stardust, Lazybones, Two Sleepy People, Skylark, Lazy River, Over The Rainbow

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4588c 00 1 CD $14.98 Vocal Jazz CDs


VoicesIowa : You Must Believe in Spring : 00  1 CD : Phil Mattson : 

VoicesIowa : You Must Believe in Spring

Review: The Southwestern Community College has a tradition of turning out excellent harmony singers, under the direction of the highly-respected director Phil Mattson. The six-piece mixed "Voices Iowa" is a fine example. "Pick Yourself Up" is a dizzying rendition of the Kern/Fields classic, a daring flight into the upper registers. Bach's "Largo" yields willingly to a fine scat treatment; "Come Sunday" has the same heartbreakingly beautiful arrangement as that of the Real Group, but the tone qualities of the voices are quite distinct to Voices Iowa. "What A Wonderful World" comes alive, the notes a joyous burst of sunshine on a spring morning.

Songlist: What A Wonderful World, Pick Yourself Up, Largo, Revoici Venir Du Printemps, Come Sunday, Lo How A Rose E're Blooming, Love is Here to Stay, Music For Lovers, More I Cannot Wish You, And So It Goes, Look for the Silver Lining, You Must Believe in Spring

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1109c 00 1 CD $14.95 Vocal Jazz CDs


Phil Mattson : Vocal Jazz: The Art & Technique : DVD : Phil Mattson : 

Phil Mattson : Vocal Jazz: The Art & Technique

Review: Phil Mattson, director of the School For Music Vocations, shares his wealth of knowledge and experience on this information-rich video. With the aid of the mixed sextet, VoicesIowa, who perform selections such as "Embraceable You," "Body And Soul" and "Dancing In The Dark," Phil gives an overview of harmony, melody and phrasing. Also, he expounds on the importance of quality literature, and gives the viewer a brief introduction to the chief contributors to the development of the jazz idiom. Phil also dispenses his philosophy throughout, and his integrity and insight into the process of musical performance - a process requiring the body and the soul - shows remarkable wisdom and clarity.

Songlist: The Rehearsal As Sacred Time, Choral Tone, The Architecture of Performance, Quality Literature, Time/Rhythm, Vocal Technique, Complete Performances, Melody/Harmony Balance, Building Group Musicianship, Text/Word Stress, Phrasing , Harmonic Skill-Building Exercises

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6001dvd DVD $29.95 Vocal Jazz Instructional


Phil Mattson and VoicesIowa : Count Your Blessings : DVD : Phil Mattson : 

Listen to
Alfie

Phil Mattson and VoicesIowa : Count Your Blessings

Review: Formed at Southwestern Community College's School for Music Vocations in 1991, the mixed-voice sextet VoicesIowa was recently honored by Down Beat Magazine as "Vocal Jazz Group of the Year." Their repertoire also includes Renaissance part-songs, 19th and 20th century compositions and arrangements of contemporary music. Their Director Phil Mattson has been nominated twice for Grammy Awards. These 12 songs, recorded live at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN, feature Mattson-arranged winners like "Snow Covers the Valley," Bach's "Jesu, Meine Freude," Burt Bacharach's "Alfie," "Never Let Me Go," Johnny Mercer/Harold Arlen's classic "Blues in the Night" and Irving Berlin's "Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep." Ward Swingle's "Country Dances" and the Swingle-arranged "Satchmo," Duke Ellington's "Don't Mean A Thing if it Ain't Got That Swing," Anders Edenroth of the Real Group's "Friendship" and Bobby McFerrin's "Jubilee" are other favorites. Great stuff, from the first cut to the last!

Songlist: Since All Is Passing, It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing), Snow Covers the Valley, Jesu, Meine Freude, Alfie, Jubilee, Never Let Me Go, Satchmo, Friendship, Blues in the Night, Count Your Blessings (Instead of Sheep), Country Dances

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7600dvd DVD $24.95 Vocal Jazz DVDs


Phil Mattson : The Arrangements of Phil Mattson : Sheet Music : Phil Mattson : 

Phil Mattson : The Arrangements of Phil Mattson

Review: Here's a collection from vocal jazz guru Phil Mattson. "Love For Sale" was written for Chanticleer in a gospel a cappella feeling featuring a female solo. "Dancing In The Dark" was arranged for the Swedish vocal jazz ensemble, The Real Group. It is written in an a cappella bossa nova groove with some quasi-funk sections. The arrangement, which treats text as a metaphor for human life, features vocal percussion opportunities. The classic Manhattan Transfer arrangement of "Body and Soul" includes lyrics about Coleman Hawkins and jazz singer Eddie Jefferson. "Love Lost" - An original piece by the Four Freshmen that was the title song from their beautiful album with strings. Has opportunities to feature both vocal and instrumental solos. SATB with rhythm section. "You Must Believe In Spring" - A lovely text beautifully set to music by Michel LeGrand with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, featuring spots for three short solos. One of the most profound lyrics over the last fifteen years. With piano.

Songlist: Dancing In The Dark, Love For Sale, Body And Soul, Love Lost, You Must Believe In Spring

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4801b Sheet Music $14.95 Vocal Jazz Arrangements

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