Unless you're a regular subscriber to Modern Drummer magazine, the name Matt Chamberlain may not ring immediately familiar to you. If you're a jazz or rock fan, however, you would be amazed how many times you've heard Chamberlain's work in recent years.
Approaching the rarefied, first-call status of fellow session luminaries such as Jim Keltner, Chamberlain's recent credits practically read like an as-yet unbooked Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Chamberlain recently appeared on Bruce Springsteen's album "Wrecking Ball," and previous credits include Tori Amos, Sarah McLachlan, Elvis Costello, Peter Gabriel, Sugarland and Kanye West. He was even a member of Pearl Jam for a brief period (that's him behind the kit in the group's music video for "Alive").
But as eclectic as his talents may be in the realm of rock, folk and country, it's another genre that lies closest to his heart. "I love improvisational music," he said, speaking by phone while on a break during another recording session. "I love songwriting and crafting drum parts for people’s songs, but there’s nothing like playing with great improvisers and being creative ... if I could just do that all the time, I would be perfectly happy."
Born in San Pedro but based in Seattle for a number of years while teamed with the influential jazz-rock hybridists Critters Buggin, Chamberlain moved back to L.A. a year ago. In the wake of last month's release of a drum-and-synthesizer-driven solo album, "Company 23," Chamberlain booked a residency at the Mint all this month that showcases his tough-to-pin-down talents in the jazz and jazz-adjacent world.