Friday, February 11, 2011
Many thanks to those of you who purchased recordings in response to my previous post. Thanks also to New York's Downtown Music Gallery who picked up the last of my "out of print" stock. This "bump" helped with the most recent "prime source" (my label) recording project which took place just yesterday here in New York.
If you've read the post on my mother and her career in music (see below) you'll know that I have a love and affinity for the sound of the Hammond B3 organ. It only makes sense that I would one day put together an organ project and I'm thrilled to report that the recording session, with Gary Versace on organ and Gerald Cleaver on drums, was a great success. I can't say enough good things about the both of them. They have ears for for the entire swath of jazz history, right up to the moment and then some. We covered some very early standards including things like "Memories of You" and "Lover, Come Back to Me", but very loosely, using them to shape our improvisations rather than dictate them. Of course, when it was time to swing it felt great and when it was time to break everything up the feeling was just as intense. We also did quite a few complete improvisations to which I realized after listening back that "everything is in there"! To which Gerald replied "every bit of it".
It's also a good feeling to have documented this music after having worked so closely with Gary rehearsing and discussing the concept. Interestingly, we had different drummers play with us on every gig we did. That's because there are so many great drummers here and great drummers usually stay pretty busy. Every gig I booked required multiple calls to find out who was going to be around for the date. But this was also good for the music in that each musician who filled the drum chair brought with them a unique voice and sensibility. I was thrilled with everyone and in the end it was damn hard to choose. Gerald Cleaver and I first played many years ago and had not had the chance to reconnect in awhile so it was great to pick up where we left off, sharing all the new things that had developed musically over those years.
I do want to thank the aforementioned percussionists, Tyshawn Sorey, Tom Rainey, Ted Poor and Nasheet Waits for their contributions on the gigs. We'll be doing more for sure. In fact, for you NYC readers there will be a couple of performances coming up at the Cornelia Street Cafe. On February 19th Gary and I will be playing with Nasheet Waits. And then on April 22nd we'll have drummer Gerry Hemingway on board. By the way, some of you NYC folks (as well as Baltimore and Philly) may have heard some gigs I did with organist Erik Deutsch and drummer Allison Miller awhile back. I intend to pick back up on this band at some point as well as it represented a different musical path that I also want to develop. Much to do!
So rest assured that I will be making big noise about the release of this recording. Look for it this spring!
Thanks to Photography by Scott Friedlander ©2011 for photo of EE with Gary Versace and Gerald Cleaver.