Tunes by Matthew Ottignon
Matt Ottignon is a gun sax player/multi-instrumentalist with indisputable musical genes. A finalist at the 2002 Wangaratta National Jazz Awards, two-time Freedman Fellowship nominee and one of Australia’s hardest working musicians, he creates sounds that spring from everywhere he’s been and everything he’s seen… music that’s undoubtedly earning him a place among the key constituents of the contemporary scene.Everywhere he’s been, he’s soaked up the local music culture, collaborating with resident artists and creating new music with origins all over the globe. Not ‘world music’ in the accepted sense, Matt’s original compositions for his own band, Mister Ott, comprise an amalgamation of native melodies from many sources, in particular Ethiopian music, aligned with the free-form improvisation and syncopation for which African-pedigreed jazz is renowned.
Among a host of industry legends, Matt has appeared on stage with international legends from Lou Reed and Brian Wilson to Steve Cropper and Donald Duck Dunn. He’s played with and/or appeared on the recordings of (among others), Hermitude, Blue King Brown, Portishead, The Herd, Jimmy & Mahalia Barnes, Katie Noonan, Marcia Hines, Aria winners Monsieur Camembert, Guy Sebastian, Jackie Orszazcky, Bernie McGann, Cameron Undy and multi-award winning trumpeter/composer Phil Slater.
The Sydney Morning Herald wrote of Matt: “Ottignon’s saxophone can cry sadly, compound itself with digital loops or fill the foreground with a classic tenor sound that’s as wide as a double-frontage terrace.”
The Daily Telegraph said: “Tenor saxophonist Matt Ottignon continues to mature as a player and is a distinctive voice on the Sydney scene. Every time he plays, he grows as an artist.”
In November 2012, Matt flew to the sub-continent to take part in Oz Fest – the biggest Australian cultural festival ever staged in India. He was part of the ‘Fearless Nadia’ project in which composer/conductor Ben Walsh’s personally selected 13 piece ‘Orkestra of the Underground’ helped celebrate 100 years of Indian cinema by performing in Mumbai and Chennai at premieres of this unique show.
The ‘Orkestra’ featured a combination of some of Australia’s and India’s most exciting musicians, including Master tabla virtuoso Aneesh Pradhan, Sudhir Nayak (Harmonium) and Australia’s own Bobby Singh.
2013 saw Matt join Scotch and Soda, a collaboration between the Circus performers Company 2 and the Crusty Suitcase Band. The debut performance at Woodford Festival was quickly followed by a 3 week season for 2014’s Sydney Festival, and they have seasons booked in Edinburgh, London, Adelaide and Melbourne.
For a number of years, Matt has performed as character Mister Saxophone, in Lah Lah’s Big Live Band a show aimed at pre schoolers. Their first tv series is currently on ABC and pay tv worldwide.
“Ottignon’s saxophone .., can cry sadly, compound itself with digital
loops or fill the foreground with a classic tenor sound that’s as wide
as a double-frontage terrace.” SMH
“Tenor saxophone Mat Ottignon continues to mature as a player
and is a distinctive voice on the Sydney scene. Every time he
grows as an artist.” Daily Telegraph