In January of this year I started writing music for drummerless trios. Inspired by the late fifties trios of Jimmy Giuffre – hearing that as a territory that has not been over-mined and also as one that intersects with my own fondness for writing harmony using individual voices. It also struck me as uniquely American (note: not to the exclusion of any other American music) music. Patriotic roots being more and more important as our nation has drifted down a path of immorality, neglect for land and people, and blatant disregard for the rule of the law.
Most of the pieces relate to the land itself and being outside – sounds of birds and other animals, trains, machines, and occasionally bands.
Trio concerts this year have included the trio with strings that toured Europe: Mark Feldman, violin and Scott Colley, bass. The music was also played by horns: in the Dolomite Mountains with Donny McCaslin, tenor and Luis Bonilla, trombone; and at UMASS with Donny and Marcus Rojas on tuba. In addition there have been performances of the trio with keyboards, with Uri Caine, piano and Bryan Carrott, vibes; at both the Vision Festival in New York and the Jazz Festival in Rocella Ionica, Italy.
It has been a unique pleasure to work on this and hear the pieces come together in different facets with each group. I’m still writing, but this trio idea has been something of a quiet, un-hyped obsession of mine in 2008.
Eventually I will record the book with all three groups (DD 3 X 3). But first the quintet called Brass Ecstasy will record. December 9 (this Tuesday) we will play at Le Poisson Rouge, including lots of new music and some pieces we’ve been playing since the beginning, in 2005. Then we will be in the studio shortly thereafter, documenting both in audio and video formats.
Best regards of the season. And thanks for visiting this site – your support helps keep the dream of independent music and artists alive. We couldn’t do this without you.