Bassist Matt Booth returns to Pittsburgh for International Jazz Festival | Music | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Bassist Matt Booth returns to Pittsburgh for International Jazz Festival

As the Pittsburgh International Jazz Festival winds down with a set by velvet-voiced Gregory Porter, one of Pittsburgh’s jazz expatriates makes his return, just across the river and up the street. 

Bassist Matt Booth was one of the musicians that helped launch Space Exchange, a Tuesday-night event at Thunderbird Café that presented different strains of new music each week. The offerings included traditional jazz, world music, free improvisation or some combination thereof. Booth could often be found behind the upright bass in many of these projects. He also played with City Dwelling Nature Seekers, who played modern folk music, taking it in more exploratory directions. 

Since relocating to New Orleans, Booth has continued to spread himself around with a number of different projects. On Sunday, he comes to Alphabet City with Extended, a lively piano trio.  Drummer Brad Webb and pianist Oscar Rossignolli complete this group, which covers a wide range of moods with a playful enthusiasm that recalls the work of the Bad Plus. However, Extended avoids the mischievous tendencies of that more notorious trio, while maintaining an animated delivery. 

Sometimes Rossignolli plays something that wouldn’t sound out of place in a piano concerto. Other times, he muffles the strings inside the piano, getting a percussive clank out of it, while his partners lay on a groove that sounds just a few steps away from funk riff. The trio’s self-titled CD features several pieces like this, switching moods with nearly every track. In person, this kind of diversity can win over a crowd. 

Sun., June 17. Alphabet City, 40 W. North Avenue, North Side. 6 p.m. Free, but reservations are required.