The Key Studio Sessions: Matt Cappy

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Local trumpeter Matt Cappy is full of loving references to his native New Jersey. Just look at the song titles that he and his band played for their Key Studio Session: “856,” for the area code. “Rose Lane,” for a street he grew up on in Berlin, NJ. “East Philly,” regional slang for Camden County.

But as much as Cappy makes it clear where his roots run, he’s Philly through and through. The University of the Arts-schooled jazz player gigged at the now-defunt Wilamena’s back in the day, blew horns in late 90s ska staples The Freakin’ Cads and has played on and off with Jill Scott since her band went by the name Fatback Taffy.

Last year, Cappy released his long-in-the-works debut solo album, Church and State, and it sees him flexing his sound and style both inside and outside the jazz spectrum. He dabbles in classic Miles-inspired melancholia, funk fusion straight out of Herbie’s Headhunters era, atmospheric groove that’s wholly contemporary, and even hip-hop and R&B collaborations — versatile Philly MC Chill Moody appears on the title track, while Marsha Ambrosius of Floetry sings on a rendition of “Amazing Grace.”

This live set, though, is focused on Cappy and his killer band. They’re all intensely talented musicians, both on the session player and touring levels; drummer Rashid Williams has been music director for Jill Scott, John Legend and J Cole for years; Clay Sears on guitar has played in Jay-Z and Janet Jackson’s bands; and on the bass, Nick Perri of modern rockers Rover Rover as well as the Max Swan band.

Below, watch them rip through an instrumental version of “Church and State,” and listen to an archive of the entire session on Soundcloud. For more, mark your calendar for February 28th, when Matt Cappy and his band headline World Cafe Live upstairs. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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