Tracks 1-2 Notes: These original compositions are part of the first of two records that I recorded in May 2011. These albums feature original music for my trio and sextet- played at a level I couldn’t have even imagined, by Erik Jekabson, Adam Shulman, Andrew ZImmerman, John Wiitala, and Hamir Atwal. The records were recorded by Ian Pellici at Tiny Telephone in SF, and mastered by A.T. Michael MacDonald in NY. I’m absolutely thrilled with the work both these guys did, and we have ended up with a couple of real jazz records; recorded live in studio, no overdubs, no isolation, all good and in the moment and full of life. The music was recorded and mixed to tape, so it has that classic warmth that is missing from so many of today’s records.
Track 3 Notes: For four years, I had the fun of leading a trio in New York with two of the best musicians on the scene, Chris Van Voorst Van Beest on bass and Yujiro Nakamura on drums. Expansive in their creative range and always swinging, these guys made everything sound good, and we had lot of of great times playing together. This track is the title cut from our cd, recorded at Maggie’s Farm and engineered by Matt Balitsaris.
Tracks 4-5 Notes: These tracks are part of a live recording we made during my last week in Brooklyn. We had been playing a weekly spot at Barrette for several months and developed a strong grasp on some new repertoire. These tracks, engineered by Gene Park, were laid down with no edits or second takes, and I think they represent the energy and adventure we tried to convey.
Tracks 7-8 Notes: Tim Byrnes is a trumpet player and composer who has been a close friend and musical associate for 13 years. This piece for multi-tracked saxophone was recorded several years ago, and is a great window into the world of music that Tim creates. He currently leads his own group, Hazel-Rah, and is a member of Kayo Dot.
Track 8 Notes: Another longtime musical compatriot and friend, Rich Bennett and I have played jazz together across NY and Europe, and I am honored to have recorded for him on several of his original projects. This particular track, from his recent release “On Holiday”, is a great example of the thoughtful pop writing and excellent sound-smithing that can be found in all of Rich’s music.
Track 9 Notes: Asiko was my longest musical association. Led by singer and percussionist Foly Kolade, they continue to be a great band that fuses afro-beat, highlife, and afro-pop. We held monthly residencies at Zebulon and Gureje in Brooklyn for years and played all throughout the northeast. I owe a great deal of my experience, musical strengths, friendships, and good stories to this group. This track is from the cd You Strong but You Wrong.
Track 10 Notes: Performed by the Adam Shulman Quintet. Pianist Adam Shulman is one of the most swinging, talented musicians in the Bay Area, and I am happy to be a part of his Billy Strayhorn tribute project. Keep your eyes open for the imminent release of the cd that this track appears on, with Erik Jekabsen on trumpet, John Wiitala on bass, and Smith Dobson V on drums. Adam is a member of my sextet and appears regularly with me at my shows at Club Deluxe.
Track 11 Notes: With percussionist Dave Mihaly. A local treasure, Dave Mihaly is a sage and unique drummer whose playing is so sensitive and creative it doesn’t need a genre. This is part of a long performance we did at Stanford’s Cantor Art museum interpreting a graphic score by Mark Applebaum, a celebrated composer. The reverb is a totally natural effect of the hall, and made for a really challenging and interesting improvisation.
Track 12 Notes: The Matinees are a Bay Area Mood Pop duo.