NATALIA MATEO vocals
SIMON GROTE piano
DANY AHMAD guitars
CHRISTOPHER BOLTE bass
FABIAN RISTAU drums & percussion
WINNER OF THE
ECHO JAZZ 2016
NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
„I always went to my own road and on my own legs where I had a mind to go.“
This quote from the 1899 short novel „Heart of Darkness“ by Polish writer Joseph Conrad could also be Natalia Mateo´s philosophy of life. The 31 year-old vocalist is a wanderer between the worlds – musically and in real life.
Born in Poland, raised in Austria and now living in Germany, she has absorbed the most varied of impressions and cultures into her being. She draws from the Slavic ballad tradition, from American jazz and singer-songwriters, and from contemporary pop and rock music. Mateo´s music is a highly personal declaration of love to tradition and modernity, to familiarity on the one hand and on the other to the wanderlust throbbing in her heart and head, to the beauty of emotional attachment, of deepest interpersonal relationships and the independence we live while in them.
„Jazz blossoms with deep roots“ is how the Frankfurter Allgemeine newspaper recently summarised a concert appearance of Natalia Mateo. The German Jazzpodium writes something wistfully brittle. She sounds vulnerable, but not violated, self confident but without the slightst hint of elitist ambition.“ And the Jazzthetik magazine sees in her music „the mysterious other that casts a spell on you.“
With her ACT debut Natalia Mateo presented her captivating art to a broader audience. With it she showed explicitly that you can have a unique style, which is characterized by openness, diversity and great depth – evan at a young age. This was appreciated with the ECHO Jazz Award 2016 as Newcomer Of The Year.
The title of Natalia Mateo’s new album, “De Profundis” – meaning ‘out of the depths’ in Latin – sets the tone: the inspirational well-springs for her music are both personal and profound.
Subtle, knowing songs leave the listener in no doubt of a determination to mark out musical paths that are Mateo’s, and hers alone. Thoughtful, original compositions and highly personal adaptations of songs reflect her story set against a backdrop of East and West, a life punctuated by changes of surroundings, by departures which lead to fresh beginnings.
In “De Profundis” Mateo and her band show the experience accrued through the past few years of extended touring. The singer herself captivates not just through intensity but also through restraint. At times the sparseness of sound and structure can be intense, while judiciously chosen instrumentation creates a very distinctive sound. Quiet, emotionally charged passages contrast with sudden bursts of fierce energy. Born in 1983, Mateo now has all the experience, craft and judgement one could ask for – as well as the self-awareness to know that she will occasionally divide opinion.
Compared with her highly praised debut on ACT “Heart of Darkness”, Mateo sings more often in her native Polish. Alongside a traditional Polish song, Mateo and her band have also taken more recent compositions, and interpret these in a highly individual manner. There is Krzysztof Komeda’s theme from the classic Roman Polański film “Rosemary’s Baby”. Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” is rhythmically re-set, reharmonised, to emerge in a completely new guise.
From originals and covers, through singing that can be gentle/lyrical and angular/punchy, moods from melancholy to anger, the range of “De Profundis” is wide. Track by track, more of what constitutes Natalia Mateo’s artistry and fascinating individuality is revealed.
An excellent troup, playing at a very high international level.
This voice comes close to one. (…) You can feel that Natalia Mateo has something to say.
A convincing an equally courageous debut.
This voice has it´s own story to tell.