Central Control International is pleased to present The Chicago Project by Matana Roberts! Matana (pronounced Mah-tah-Na) is a dynamic saxophonist, composer, and improviser who exposes the mystical roots and spiritual traditions of African American creative expression in her music. A Chicago native, she was fortunate enough to be surrounded by elder musicians who showed her by distinct example the importance of listening to one's personal creative voice while at the same time using the profound and layered traditions of jazz and improvised music to act as her creative guide, not her creative definer. Their mentorship has inspired her true artistic individuality.
The Chicago Project is Roberts' homage to her hometown, featuring compositions and conceptual material composed by her and interpreted by close friends and supporters: bassist Josh Abrams (Town and Country, Prefuse 73), guitarist Jeff Parker (Tortoise, Chicago Underground Trio), and drummer Frank Rosaly (Ken Vandermark's Crisis Ensemble). The album was produced and engineered respectively by pianist Vijay Iyer and Tortoise's John McEntire, and features a very special guest saxophonist in the form of Fred Anderson, one of the founding members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).
An expert improviser, Roberts' playing can be heard on recordings as disparate as Godspeed You! Black Emperor's Yanqui UXO, Sabir Mateen's Shapes Textures and Sounds Ensemble, Daniel Givens' Day Clear and First Dark, and more--as well as works with Savath and Savalas (a.k.a. Guillermo Scott Herren/Prefuse 73). She has also played alongside such musical and artistic luminaries as Roscoe Mitchell, Oliver Lake, Marty Erhlich, Eugene Chadbourne, Henry Grimes, Butch Morris, Reg E. Gaines, George Lewis, Nicole Mitchell, Robert Barry, Joe Maneri, Miya Masaoka, Beans, Steve Lacy, Liberty Ellman, Hill Greene, Vernon Reid, Jayne Cortez, Bill T. Jones, and Savion Glover, among many others. Matana Roberts currently lives and works in New York and is a member of the AACM.