"A gifted San Francisco bassist and composer whose alluringly original music draws on a rich range of classical, jazz, and inigenous music."
~ San Francisco Chronicle

“As for his wide range of stylistic explorations, Small exercises a strong aesthetic sensibility rather than glomming together a mix of musics.”
~ Down Beat Magazine

“Small’s magnificent and imaginative bass playing creates a kaleidoscope of impressive sounds…the music (The Crushing Spiral Ensemble) plays has an integrity and excitement about it that many of the veteran jazz giants seem to have lost over the years.” ~ The San Francisco Examiner

“Accomplished improvisers, and conservatory trained, the musicians (of Matt Small’s Chamber Ensemble) are all capable of exploring Small’s vision of music with one foot in the modern classical world and one foot in modern jazz. Rhythmically assertive and harmonically dense, his compositions often require the Ensemble to play with a rock band’s dynamics.” ~ Contra Costa Times

“Navigating his harmonically dense horn orchestrations, Small churns out quirky, imaginative lines that reveal experimental rock and collective free-jazz influences.” ~ Bass Player Magazine

“With the complexity of modern classical music mixed with the improvised vitality of jazz, the music Small writes is distinctly original.” ~ The Oakland Tribune

“His forte is as a composer of experimental soundscapes that test the boundaries of jazz lyricism while remaining melodically and rhythmically accessible to any listener.” ~ The San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Small’s music continually exploits (an) instrumentation’s myriad textural possibilities…while Small’s bass work provides the rock-ribbed structure on which his audacious tunes hang.” ~ The East Bay Express

“His fascinating original compositions explore the painterly textures, colors, and sinewy rhythms of melodically intriguing pieces.”
~ The San Francisco Bay Guardian


“Beautifully surreal and hauntingly languid…demonstrating Small’s affinity for wry humor and quiet grandiosity.” ~ The San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Seductive and mysterious…shifting effortlessly among klezmer, pop, rock, and improv jazz…Small infuses his quirky compositions with both breadth and intimacy.” ~ San Francisco Weekly