The Absolute Trio also performs as the Matt Herskowitz Trio.
Equally accomplished as jazz and classical musicians, the Matt Herskowitz Trio has performed at major jazz and chamber music festivals throughout Europe and North America, including the Montreal International Jazz Festival, the Naumburg Orchestral Concerts Series (Central Park, NYC), Musikfest Bremen (Bremen, Germany), the Singer Festival (Warsaw), the Rhino Jazz Festival (Lyon, France), the
Northwest Bach Festival (Spokane, WA), El Paso Chamber Music Festival (Texas), the Mineria Chamber Music Festival (Mexico City), Classic Chamber Concerts (Naples, Florida), Sitka Summer Music Festival (Sitka, Alaska), Luzerne Chamber Music Festival (Lake Luzerne, NY), and the Lyric Chamber Music Society of New York, of which Matt is artist-in-residence. Programs they've performed over the years include: From Bach To Brubeck, which features Matt's arrangements and original compositions based on the music of both composers; Jerusalem Trilogy, also the title of their 2010 album; Gershwin Reconstructed, featuring Matt’s “reconstructed” arrangements of classic Gershwin songs; Bach Reimagined, a program of Matt’s innovative arrangements of selected Bach pieces which appear on their recent album releases, Bach XXI and Bach Reimagined; and Chopin Reimagined, which includes Chopin’s Sonata no. 2 in Bb minor, four Etudes, a Nocturne and original compositions inspired by Chopin. MHT has also performed Matt's concerto for jazz piano trio and chamber orchestra, Undertow, on several occasions with cross-genre chamber group Absolute Ensemble. Their performance at the Philharmonie in Cologne, Germany, was filmed and aired by WDR German television across Europe.
Their debut album, Forget Me Not, received rave reviews and was nominated for Québec’s prestigious Félix award for “Best jazz album of the year.” It was rereleased in 2017 as a tribute to their late great friend and mentor, Lew Soloff, who is featured on several tracks of the album. Completely remastered, repackaged and reordered, Forget Me Not: Homage to Lew Soloff is available on Justin Time Records worldwide. The reissue has received enthusiastic reviews.
Their second album, Jerusalem Trilogy (Justin Time Records, 2010), features Matt's original compositions and arrangements. The centrepiece of the album is the title track, a quintet for the trio plus violin (Lara St. John) and cello (Mike Block). The album represents a unique, integrated fusion of written music and improvisation, blending together Jewish and Arab musical styles and grooves. Among the album's fans was the late great Dave Brubeck, who commended Matt on the recording, saying: “Congratulations! You have transformed the concept of ‘world’ music as I conceived of it half a century ago. You have carried it further than I could imagine.”
In 2007, they recorded an album with Barry Manilow, In The Swing of Christmas, for Hallmark, in which Barry features the trio in several arrangements. This album was nominated for a Grammy in 2008, and re-released on Arista Records in 2009.
Their 2015 release, Bach XXI (Avanti Classic) showcases Matt’s original arrangements of Bach pieces in a variety of contemporary styles and genres, and features acclaimed classical violinist Philippe Quint as soloist. MHT’s newest release is Bach Reimagined (Enja Records), featuring nine new Bach arrangements in a variety of jazz styles, with virtuoso flutist Andrea Griminelli as soloist.