A unique trio, Cobblestone Jazz creates pared-down sounds that retain the qualities of improvisational jazz within the parameters of a minimal, dance-floor aesthetic. Through a real-time exchange of musical form, language, and ideas, Danuel Tate, Mathew Jonson, and Tyger Dhula provide a continual sense of surprise and discovery for their listeners.
The influence each member has on the group’s sound contributes to the international success Cobblestone Jazz continues to receive. Danuel Tate’s history as a jazz musician and performer prompted the approach to the group’s writing practices. His keyboard playing shows a rich understanding of harmony and melody, but like many great artists, his dedication to simplicity is what holds him in such high regard. Mathew Jonson’s gifted ability to mix and compose freely, and his commitment to pushing his music in new directions is always present. Using analogue drum machines and synthesizers as his instruments, he chooses to write his parts in the moment instead of conforming to pre-configured patterns. Tyger Dhula’s history as a DJ and producer of electronic music provides the necessary stylistic foundations that form the backdrop for the group’s improvisations. His ability to break grooves up into their key elements holds the music firmly within electronic music traditions.
Since their 2002 debut release, Cobblestone Jazz have received critical acclaim for their output on !K7, ITISWHATITIS Recordings and Wagon Repair. Their two albums, 23 Seconds and The Modern Deep Left Quartet, have become something of a benchmark for this particular style, including modern classics such as ‘Sun Child’, ‘Dump Truck’ and ‘India In Me’. The band’s appeal is broad; they boast support from diverse DJs such as Carl Craig, Gilles Peterson, Joe Clausell, Laurent Garnier, Moodymann, Richie Hawtin, Sven Vath, and Theo Parrish. They have performed internationally at events such as Fabric in London, Labyrinth Festival in Japan, Melt! Festival in Germany, and Movement Festival, in Detroit and Rainbow Serpent in Australia to name just a few.
Their music is created in one take, either culled from live performances or studio mixes, and their live shows are a representation of how they create music. Nowadays, the live set is made up entirely of keyboards and drum machines; the laptops and samplers are gone.
2015 saw the return of the band to Itiswhatitis Recordings with the ‘Northern Lights’ EP – and a number of shows, including MUTEK festival and Rainbow Disco Club in Japan. After some hiatus the members have reunited in 2021 for a run of selected shows as well as new releases, coming up on Mathew’s Wagon Repair, Craig Richards Tuppence label, and a remix for the Brazilian star Rita Lee, as a well placed start.