Thursday, March 3, 2011

Quartet Art, Pre-Order!!



My first album, Quartet Art, will soon be available on itunes and emusic! Go HERE for the link to the pre-order site, and it will be available by March 29th digitally for $9.99! The album is with tenor saxophonist David Pope, trumpeter Josh Reed, drummer/percussionist Matt Coyle and guitarist Ryan Fourt with myself on double bass. About half of the album is quartet without guitar, and the other half is with guitar. Half of the record is free improvisations, and the other half original composed pieces, with one "cover" tune, "Song for Che" by Charlie Haden. You can hear the original version of it HERE performed by the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra in 1969 on his first album. A much earlier blogpost on this site discusses Charlie Haden's political influence on his music, such as pieces like "Song for Che."

This was a fun project, Josh Reed flew in from NYC and Dave Pope from Virginia, all to UNC's studio in Greeley Colorado to record 3 hour sessions two days in a row. I had to cut an original tune (the composition just wasn't great) and a few free improvisations. Much later on, after mixing and mastering, I went though the record and transcribed all of the free improvisations into playable "tunes." I put tunes into quotes because they don't work like most tunes do, but are maps of composed (originally improvised) parts and text instructions on improvisations. Whenever I plan on some CD release concerts the band will play the free improvisation charts from the album, which will be an interesting concept to see how the music changes once it is codified and written down.

The album is named "Quartet Art" from the title track of the same name, based off of a piece that was a late night painting I made after a gig. The album cover is a version of part of the painting, and the score is a written out in and out melody with the graphics as the middle section of the piece. It essentially is a map of when to play, and who is playing together. It involves more listening and cueing to get through successfully. We played three versions of this, all of them great, and was very difficult to decide which ones to cut out. The graphics decision came out of a conversation with trumpeter Hugh Ragin about playing Anthony Braxton's music and what the scores were like. Another track on the album "Toe Knee" is a tribute to Tony Malaby, based off of what drummer Chris Smith told me about playing with Malaby, and how everyone could be improvising at the same time, but the focus shifts from one player to another very specifically. I wrote a composition based on this idea.

I hope you enjoy the album, only digital for now, hope to physical press the CD by the summer, and do Colorado and East Coast CD Release concerts whenever it is ready to go!