About the author and contact

matt dream ave best photo

The author in Barnes Common, London. Photo by Paul Kingsley

Matt is a writer, musician and record executive. He’s the author of ‘Level 42: Every Album, Every Song’, the first indepth study of the jazz/funk/pop supergroup’s prestigious catalogue.

Matt’s new book about British guitar legend John McLaughlin will be published in September 2023. He writes the ‘Forget Me Not’ column for Classic Pop magazine, focusing on classic/underrated albums, and has contributed to Jazzwise, The Oldie and Record Collector.

Since 2010, Matt has been Jazz FM’s web editor and Universal Music’s Jazz Catalogue Manager, looking after the output on the iconic Blue Note, Impulse, Verve, ECM, Concord, Decca, Virgin, Polydor, MCA and EMI labels.

Matt won the inaugural Jazzwise Write Stuff award for new jazz writing and was Music Adviser on Mike Dibb’s Channel Four documentary ‘Keith Jarrett: The Art of Improvisation‘ and the feature film ‘Titus‘.

He has written the liner notes for the Grammy-nominated ‘Miles Davis: Birth Of The Cool’ DVD and albums by Billy CobhamTony WilliamsWorking Week, Maynard FergusonLA Express, Don Ellis and Steve Khan. He has another website dedicated to jazz in all its forms: soundsofsurprise.com.

Matt has performed and recorded with many artists and bands including the Shez Raja Collective, Anthony Joseph and the Spasm Band, Planetman and the Internationalz, Billy Cobham, Jem Godfrey, Moke, Scott Stroman and Jean Toussaint. He co-wrote two tracks on Silver Sun’s album Dad’s Weird Dream. Check out Matt’s Bandcamp page and drumming profile.

So. The 1980s. Where to start? By the time I was eight or nine, I was fairly obsessed with The Beatles, learning every lyric and Ringo fill. At the same time, I was getting into The Police, Ian Dury, OMD, XTC, Japan, Boomtown Rats, George Benson, Pretenders, Michael Jackson, Bowie, The Jam, Altered Images and all the other fantastic pop artists that graced the late ’70s and early ’80s.

The first single I asked my parents for was Nick Lowe’s ‘I Love The Sound Of Breaking Glass’. Or was it OMD’s ‘Enola Gay’? Or 10CC’s ‘Dreadlock Holiday’? Or Elvis Costello’s ‘Less Than Zero’? Or Madness’s ‘It Must Be Love’? Or The Buggles’ ‘Video Killed The Radio Star’? Actually, it might have been Adam & The Ants’ ‘Ant Rap’.

My dad was also playing me Weather Report, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Miles Davis, David Sanborn, Lee Ritenour, Steely Dan, Billy Cobham and Grover Washington, so I was on my way.

Some of Matt’s favouries:

Matt’s favourite albums:

Peter Gabriel III

Cocteau Twins: Heaven Or Las Vegas

Will Downing: Love’s The Place To Be

John McLaughlin/One Truth Band: Electric Dreams

ZZ Top: Tres Hombres

Stump: A Fierce Pancake

Lewis Taylor (1996)

Stewart Copeland: Rumble Fish Original Soundtrack

Stan Freberg: A Child’s Garden Of Freberg

Jeff Wayne: War Of The Worlds

Talking Heads: Fear Of Music

Thompson Twins: Quick Step And Side Kick

Madonna: Like A Prayer

The Blue Nile: Walk Across The Rooftops

Johnny Guitar Watson: Ain’t That A Bitch

Oliver Nelson: Blues And The Abstract Truth

The Police: Reggatta De Blanc

Allan Holdsworth: Hard Hat Area

Steve Khan: Casa Loco

Ian Dury: New Boots And Panties

It Bites: Once Around The World

Thelonious Monk: Genius Of Modern Music Vols. 1 & 2

Grace Jones: Nightclubbing

Mr Bungle: California

Propaganda: A Secret Wish

David Sanborn: Voyeur

Kate Bush: Hounds Of Love

Stanley Clarke (1974)

Television (1992)

David Bowie: Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) 

Larry Carlton: Last Nite

Lowell George: Thanks, I’ll Eat It Here

Robert Fripp: Exposure

Dave Brubeck: Bravo Brubeck!

Frank Zappa: Sheik Yerbouti

Genesis: The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway

Herbie Hancock/Wayne Shorter/Freddie Hubbard/Ron Carter/Tony Williams: VSOP The Quintet

The Robert Cray Band: Bad Influence

Scritti Politti: Cupid And Psyche 1985

King Crimson: Discipline

Prefab Sprout: Steve McQueen

Jason Rebello: A Clearer View

Jeff Beck: Blow By Blow

Joni Mitchell: Dog Eat Dog

David Sylvian: Gone To Earth

David Sylvian/Holger Czukay: Plight And Premonition (the ORIGINAL 1988 mix!)

Bireli Lagrene: Foreign Affairs

Lyle Mays: Street Dreams

Nik Kershaw: The Riddle

Scott Henderson/Tribal Tech: Illicit

Randy Newman: Little Criminals

Herbie Hancock: Head Hunters

Marcus Miller/Miles Davis: Siesta

Thomas Dolby: The Flat Earth

Mark King: Influences

Beach Boys: Pet Sounds

Bill Withers: Still Bill

Lee Ritenour: Rit

The Beatles: Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band

Marvin Gaye: What’s Going On

Sly And The Family Stone: There’s A Riot Goin’ On

Prince: Around The World In A Day

John Martyn: Glorious Fool

Weather Report: Mr Gone

Wayne Shorter: Phantom Navigator

Valentin Silvestrov: Symphony No.5

Michael Jackson: Thriller

John Scofield: Blue Matter

Roxy Music: Avalon

Little Feat: Time Loves A Hero 

Diva: Original Soundtrack 

Marc Johnson’s Bass Desires: Second Sight

Donald Fagen: The Nightfly

XTC: Skylarking

Mike Stern: Upside Downside

Level 42: World Machine

Miles Davis: Star People

Japan: Oil On Canvas

Mark Isham: Vapor Drawings

Love And Money: Strange Kind Of Love

That’s The Way I Feel Now: A Tribute To Thelonious Monk

Danny Wilson: Meet Danny Wilson

Thompson Twins: Quick Step And Side Kick

The Zombies: Odessey And Oracle

Steely Dan: Gaucho

(Check out Matt’s desert island playlist here.)


Matt’s favourite books:

Indecent Exposure’ by David McLintick

‘Accident’ by Nicholas Mosley

‘Pretty In Pink’ by Jonathan Bernstein

‘Straight From The Fridge, Dad’ by Max Decharne

‘A Lot Of Hard Yakka’ by Simon Hughes

‘5001 Nights At The Movies’ by Pauline Kael

‘Pressed For All Time’ by Michael Jarrett

Smoking In Bed‘ by Alistair Owen/Bruce Robinson

Songwriters On Songwriting’ by Paul Zollo

‘Miles Beyond’ by Paul Tingen

‘Misogynies’ by Joan Smith

Who The Hell‘ by Tom Hibbert

The Thirsty Muse: Alcohol And The American Writer’ by Thomas A Dardis

Aja (33 1/3)’ by Don Breithaupt

‘Franny & Zooey’ by JD Salinger

Easy Riders Raging Bulls’ by Peter Biskind

‘The Moronic Inferno’ by Martin Amis

The Complete David Bowie‘ by Nicholas Pegg

The People’s Music’ by Ian MacDonald

Visions Of Jazz‘ by Gary Giddins

Thelonious Monk‘ by Robin DG Kelley

‘Hate Mail’ by Mr Bingo

‘Rip It Up’ by Simon Reynolds

‘The Caretaker’ by Harold Pinter

‘Daily Rituals’ by Mason Currey

‘Fear And Loathing In Fitzrovia’ by Paul Willetts


Matt’s favourite movies:

‘Groundhog Day’ (Ramis, 1993)

‘Diner’ (Levinson, 1982)

‘Duel’ (Spielberg, 1971)

‘Accident’ (Losey, 1967)

‘THX 1138’ (Lucas, 1970)

‘This Is Spinal Tap’ (Reiner, 1983)

‘Sideways’ (Payne, 2004)

‘Lord Of The Flies’ (Brook, 1963)

‘Tape’ (Linklater, 2001)

‘The Player’ (Altman, 1991)

‘Career Girls’ (Leigh, 1996)

‘Kes’ (Loach, 1969)

‘The Long Goodbye’ (Altman, 1973)

‘The Go-Between’ (Losey, 1970)

‘One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’ (Forman, 1975)

‘Jaws’ (Spielberg, 1975)

‘Performance’ (Cammell/Roeg, 1970)

‘Walkabout’ (Roeg, 1971)

‘Don’t Look Now’ (Roeg, 1973)

‘Halloween’ (Carpenter, 1978)

‘Short Cuts’ (Altman, 1993)

‘The Parallax View’ (Pakula, 1974)

‘The Caretaker’ (Forbes, 1962)

‘The Apartment’ (Wilder, 1962)

‘The Disorderly Orderly’ (Tashlin, 1964)

‘Five Easy Pieces’ (Rafelson, 1970)

‘Bring Me The Head Of Alfredo Garcia’ (Peckinpah, 1974)

‘The Fog’ (Carpenter, 1980)

‘Caddyshack’ (Ramis, 1980)

‘Airplane’ (Zucker, 1980)

‘Psycho’ (Hitchcock, 1960)

‘The King Of Comedy’ (Scorsese, 1982)

‘Eyes Wide Shut’ (Kubrick, 1999)

‘Archipelago’ (Hogg, 2010)

‘Withnail And I’ (Robinson, 1987)

‘Last Tango In Paris’ (Bertolucci, 1972)


Matt’s favourite TV shows/films:

I’m Alan Partridge

Brass Eye

Trigger Happy TV


Whose Line Is It Anyway

The Last Resort With Jonathan Ross

The Incredibly Strange Film Show

The Avengers (1965-1969)

Dennis Pennis: Very Important Pennis

The Max Headroom Show



The Firm (Clarke, 1989)

Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace

Tracking Down Maggie (Broomfield, 1994)

Grange Hill

The Tube

The Comic Strip Presents

Saturday Night Live (US)/Saturday Live (UK)

Curb Your Enthusiasm

Our Friends In The North

Baal (Clarke, 1982)

Kurt And Courtney (Broomfield, 1998)

Nuts In May (Leigh, 1976)

Abigail’s Party (Leigh, 1977)

The Office (UK)

Road (Clarke, 1988)

People Like Us

Meantime (Leigh, 1984)

The Thick Of It

The Day Today

Fist Of Fun/This Morning With Richard Not Judy

Feel free to get in touch, it’s always good to hear from you:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s