Mats Ingvarsson.. Born 1966..
I played cello all through my childhood (still think Bach cello-suites is THE best school for walking bass!). Picked up guitar to take part of the music I actually listened to in my teens. 70ies pop.. Singer-songwriter and early disco.. In hindsight I can tell there was a special feeling for blues or whenever blues-elements showed it’s face in pop music (quite often..). My parents were church-people listening to classical music so choral stuff always make me sentimental still!
Picked up electric bass when we started a school band playing soul.
Then it happened: Star People (Miles..) and We Want Miles! And Headhunters! Music that hit me deeper than anything before! Blues! Improvisation! Groove! All combined.. I felt an urge to be a part of something, at least remotely, like that.
That was it!.. Fooled around with soul and funk as a hobby for some years while listening to harder stuff at home or with my playmates.
Went to Skurups Folkhögskola for two years where we studied jazz and some fusion full time with very much of ensemble-playing. I guess I decided to pursue some kind of professional career at that time. Writing songs.. Playing.. Whatever! Also, sound and production interested me. A little audiophile is hiding in there!
Slowly and over the years (let’s see.. early nineties..) I more and more enjoyed acoustic jazz and wanted to be a part of that sound too! Bought an upright and started practicing. Got some gigs playing post-bop and standards. Wouldn’t let go of the fender jazz though and played a lot of soul and funk where and whenever I had the opportunity (”Grand Clinic”, ”Soul Quality Quartet”..)
Parallell to this I dug in to some West African stuff via Youssou n’Dour and others. Fascinating stuff when kora-patterns finds their way (maybe..) via guitar to the electric bass! Back-packed for some months through west africa to listen some more and breath it some more.
Then (or parallel too, I guess..) came a Brazilian era. Me and two of my dearest playmates (Måns Mernsten and Måns Block, keys and drums..) were hired for a year to be the trio hosting a club called ”Blame it on the Bossa Nova” with new guests every week. Had to explore some more than the ordinary ”real book”-standards from Brazil then!! Led to a still-lasting love affair w Brazilian music. The groove (with obvious relations to West Africa) paired w intricate and sometimes jazzy composition in a natural way! And sentimentality!! Both ”Soul Quality Quartet” and ”A Bossa Elétrica” are projects w much, or total, Brazilian flavour.
Around the millenium I attended a course in Denmark ”Summer Session” for a week with Geri Allen as my main teacher. Being a fan, both of her and of every bassplayer she’s ever hired, this was a very inspirational week and when her manager, a few months later, calls me and asks me to sub for Robert Hurst for 13 gigs throughout Europe I thought someone was pulling my leg hard! But it was true and that experience taught me so many things! About music, about ”jazz business” and on and on.. Most significantly, it gave me courage and confidence. A feeling that I’m a part of something bigger and have a right to speak (or play..)
Mats Ingvarsson’s HOPE is, in a way, a fruit of that. Recording some of my music or interpreting others. Believing that my ”voice” could have meaning to others.
Along with all this I’ve been teaching bass, ensemble-playing and music theory and playing all kinds of gigs in many genres and different contexts. In the pit under an opera scene or in front of big audiences at festivals playing funk and jazz and I’m very thankful to music (as some kind of deity?..)for this.
M. I. HOPE is by the way a production completely of my own. I took some help recording it but edited and mixed on my own. This is something I also have learned and feel that I do quite good. I have mixed and co-engineered several projects where I was a player but also others projects where I’ve acted as coproducer and engineer. I would enjoy doing that some more! Listen to some samples on the ”selected recordings”-page and the ”sounds”-page!
People/bands I’ve worked with: Grand Clinic, Soul Quality Quartet, Almaz Yebio, Fredrik Kronkvist, Anders Bergcrantz, Chico Lindvall, Ola Åkerman, Miriam Aida, A Bossa Elétrica, Sofi Hellborg, Jan Lundgren, Geri Allen, Mathias Landaeus, Monday Night Big Band (Malmö), Damn/Timbuktu, Torbjörn Righard, Simone Moreno.. I could go on namedropping real famous people I’ve ”shared stage with” but that’s not relevant is it?