Louisville, KY instrumentalist Mathew Mozzoni is a man who wears many hats and has his hands in different departments in the music industry. Even though he started with the cello as a kid he eventually found his strength in the guitar instrument and that has been his forte ever since. He is not particularly green in the industry and has worked on numerous projects with different bands and artists as a music arranger/guitarist/bassist but today we will be looking at his debut album Hot Light. The album is an 8-track body of work that fuses funk and jazz in a distinct manner and also sees Mathew collaborating with different singers on each track. He is very hands-on with his art and he wrote the songs and performed all the guitar parts on the project.
The project opens up with “Everything”, which sets the tone perfectly with a slow but urgent build-up which reaches a crescendo as the drums come into play. The arrangement is quite dynamic and takes listeners on a journey of highs and lows with rousing drum grooves and mellow melancholic vocal sections filled with lush sparsely arranged keys and sublime basslines. Renowned international jazz vocalist and recording artist Gracie Terzian takes center stage on the opener with her subtle vocal runs that cascade the lush keys and grooves which slowly draw listeners in and prepare them for what is to come. This is followed by the title track, a mid-tempo groovy jam that aims to get us on the dance floor with its warm textures, rich guitar plucks and steady head-nodding grooves all underpinned by Shane Antonio‘s soulful renditions. “Quad Colored Bug” is a slow jazz ballad featuring the laidback vocals of Zack Stefanski that slowly evolves into a high-tempo live jam coloured by rich electric guitar solos, soft keys and pulsating basslines that help cement it together. Vocalist Mike Hood takes the reins on the fun-filled “Latika”, a cheerful bright tune that follows the exploits of the titular character who is very much in charge of her affairs. The best part is the way the record switches around the 2-minute mark where Mike’s vocals are complemented by the electric guitars and they play off each other.
Matthew brings back Gracie Terzian for “Someplace Special”, a neo-soul/jazz piece that aims to bring listeners closer to that proverbial comfort zone. The track starts off with an incredible progressive cinematic introduction which lasts for a minute before Grace’s vocals come into play. “Two Tone Corduroy Coat” featuring Courtney Campbell is as funk as it gets with its vibrant arrangement and memorable chorus which accentuates the gaudy garment used in the title. The lively feel of the track is also bolstered by its chord changes, seamless transitions and use of audience recordings to bolster the energy.  The project closes out with “Steeped In Blue” featuring Nala Kathleen and “Mean” featuring Montre Davis of Linkin’ Bridge (Americas Got Talent). The former is a downtempo piece made up of ethereal guitar licks, soft grooves and crunchy textures filled up by Nala’s commanding vocal performance while the latter has a retro funky-soul aesthetic with its laidback grooves, solemn textures and airy horn stabs that fits Mathew’s contemplative songwriting and Montre’s mellow melodic runs. “Mean” is a pleasant closer and gives listeners an insightful theme to ponder on but still gives enough hope to hang on to.
Overall Hot Light is dense in terms of the style of arrangement, rich production and the seamless fusion of jazz/soul and funk styles and also packs a punch with the distinct vocal performances by the vocalists involved.


Composer/guitarist Mathew Mozzoni has composed for film/tv (Kent Hammer on HBO Max, The Dead Driver, West of Greatness, and more), as well as video games such as Thunderday, Parkour Legends, Null Project, and more). As a composer, Mathew was a recipient of the bronze award at the recent Independent Shorts Awards, and a finalist for the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer Awards. As a guitarist, Mathew holds a Bachelor of Jazz Performance Mathew and has worked with Linkin’ Bridge (Americas Got Talent), Ben Sollee, Pascal Dennis, and more.

Mathew is a proud StrumNComfort artist.

Keep up with Mathew Mozzoni | Website: Instagram

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