Live Review: Matt Jaffe

Material: Performing music from 2018’s The Spirit Catches You and 2021’s Kintsugi, Matt Jaffe delivered an authentic, lighthearted acoustic set at The Mint for a supportive midweek crowd. From his opening guitar work on “Wicked World” to his closing cover of Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young,” he brought gorgeous guitar play and strong vocal delivery, added to by a dry, witty sense of humor that revealed a fun, down-to-earth approach to engaging with his audience.

Musicianship: Opening with catchy refrains and solid storytelling, “Wicked World” began with Spanish-flavored guitar strumming and falsetto vocals, both of which he made look and feel easy. Jaffe’s guitar picking skills opened “Weekend Lover,” which also showcased his impressive vocal range and beautiful guitar playing over the bridge. “Voodoo Doll” followed (along with a funny reference to performing circuits at juvenile halls), and “Save Your Sorrow” revealed his softer side, with its gentle lilting style.

Performance: Taking the lid off, Jaffe shared a song dedicated to Martha Stewart (another comedic story) with fabulous guitar licks on “Hellhounds of Alcatraz” and spoke of his experience with the California fires in “Fire On The Freeway,” sharing catchy guitar loops and great syncopation. As a talented guitarist and a strong vocalist, combined with a transparent storytelling style and a vocal sound similar to that of Noel Gallagher, Jaffe brings a unique, gentle approach to his stage persona. His presence is refreshingly invitational and he shows an honest appreciation for—and investment in—his audience.

Summary: With his unassuming, mellow persona and confident, effortless style of playing and singing, Matt Jaffe creates a warm and comfortable environment to enjoy his musical offerings. Jaffe’s genuine audience engagement, interesting lyrical storytelling, and amusing, quirky anecdotal interludes between songs make for a jovial, relaxing atmosphere. His music is sincere and uncomplicated and makes for a satisfying musical evening out. 

The Mint  Los Angeles, CA

Contact: [email protected]

Web: mattjaffemusic.com

Players: Matt Jaffe, vocals, acoustic guitar