matt ulery

Matt Ulery – Bassist and Composer

Chicago bassist and composer Matt Ulery has been putting out a lot of great music and I wanted to feature his work on the blog so that more people can discover it!



“Expanding upon the artistic and critical success of his 2012 double album By a Little Light, Chicago bassist-composer Matt Ulery returns with In the Ivory on Dave Douglas’ acclaimed independent label Greenleaf Music – eighty minutes of resplendent, lyrical, transportive, and impeccably performed chamber-jazz music. Inspired and motivated by the musical and personal relationships developed while recording and performing By a Little Light–Ulery’s most ambitious project to date–In the Ivory explores the idea of consciousness through patient, lyrical composition.

At a time when classical musicians perform in clubs almost as frequently as jazz musicians appear in concert halls, Ulery has forged a unique signature sound that combines a jazz core with luminous ensemble writing and song craft. Built around a band of select, unique voices, In the Ivory draws upon Ulery’s positive experience performing Light with this particular thirteen-piece aggregation.

Ulery’s sixth album as a leader blends jazz, American minimalism, Eastern European folk music (as a longtime writing member of Chicago band Eastern Blok), and romanticism into a constantly evolving emotional kaleidoscope.”

The third track on Matt’s new record is entitled “Mary Shelley” and is a great example of using a simple thematic idea to set up an entire piece. The piece makes use of simple melodic ideas juxtaposed on top of interesting harmony and mixed meters. The orchestration is rich and offers such a breath of fresh air to the standard group sound. The piano solos after the melody statement which breaks up the orchestrated texture and lets the rhythm section open things up. The strings offer up sparse backgrounds as the solo develops. After the piano solo there is a return to the B section which serves as a transition to the closing section. You can download a Lead Sheet for Mary Shelley – Lead (by- Matt Ulery). The lead sheet here is slightly reduced so that any group can perform it using any instrumentation.

Listen to “Mary Shelley” here.

To purchase “In the Ivory” click here.

Please visit Matt Ulery’s site to learn more about all of his work.

Visit Greenleaf Music