Essential Endeavours grew out of the ether trail of 'Midnight Over Erith' . Midnight Over Erith's spark was the pollution that prevented a midnight stroll. Essential Endeavours was born out of songs that were not finished at that time for the discerning buying public. We worked on them some more so we could Polish them improve them and develop them further. Yet Essential Endeavours contains not one of these songs! We grew to dislike them and realised that the reason they had not been finished in time for our first release was a deep felt but never vocalised belief that they were just not 'Joocypeach'. These songs, after several months of playing and leaving, never grew never developed, they just were. Nonetheless, they had their point and that was whilst playing around with them we happened upon other more interesting chords, colours and sound scapes. The Title track is just such a song that wasn't ready for the time it was written. It was born in 1996 after a particularly arduous rehearsal which only achieved the sacking of a drummer for the umpteenth late arrival at the rehearsal venue. I just stated a long deep sigh and went 'Oh well....' and did a slide from a E to G on the E string of my bass. I thought I like that and carried on, within 4 days I had called Meinrad back and with a pocket cassette recorder I set about recording what was to be the basic structure and harmony of the entire song. It took a further 7 years to find the Tympani sound I wanted which is why the first album didn't feature this track ! Indeed this track was only truly close to completion after I thought I'd finished the running order of tracks for 'Platter 2' as was the working title. I took a couple of weeks away and on my return listened to them again and once again canned a couple of songs as they no longer hit the spot. The consequences of this action was deep frustration and a search for a particular sound for a motif melody on another song and it was at this point that I found not the sound for the motif but the Tympani I had been trying to match to my imagined Tympani for those long seven years. The album title for general release at that time I thought was ultimately going to be 'Tall Trees' after the opening track. 'Tall Trees..' relates to an old old saying, I think it may be Hindu but I am uncertain and I definitely do not know as yet if I am correct. And the quote, well that's 'Tall Trees catch all the wind....' For me this exemplifies what I require of myself and those around me, the ability to speak up and not be cramped by circumstance or personalities. To have the faith in your beliefs and actions and sometimes understand that as a result criticism will come your way, both good and bad, regardless. The story of this CD though, is not just about the tracks that finally made it to the final cut but more to do with the personalities and circumstances to getting there. During the time recording 'Midnight Over Erith' there was a constant battle with technology and it's seemingly capricious and human qualities. Fortunately these circumstances were relatively few and far between during the recording of 'Essential Endeavours'. Two of the single biggest changes for these recordings happened as a result of my partner asking me to join her at a friend of hers gig. Her friends band were apparently playing a Jazz gig and she thought I may be interested. I initially 'didn't think I had the time' but eventually, being exhausted I couldn't give anymore to my songs at that time. I needed some down time. And then I heard this voice, with the understanding and feel for lyrics. Little did I know at the time but circumstance would lend a hand and Miranda ( A junior Alicia Keys or if you will Jill Scott !!) was asked if she would be interested in making her contribution and the affirmative response was all it took. Well my brother, Terry, had discussed with me the two song lyrics he had written. Normally Terry writes for a Rock audience. I was unsure but asked to see and hear them, purely as a courtesy I knew the quality of his writing was superb but it was the normal audiencethat made me unsure it would translate to Soul Jazz. How wrong can you be. Two harmonic structures not even at that time songs, just warm up material prior to practising suddenly took on a whole new life of their own. Not only did the lyrics perfectly dovetail into the structure but the harmonic elements gave Miranda the opportunity to stretch into them and explore the full meaning of the lyrics. It was quite surprising to listen to some of the guitar motifs and see how Miranda used them to trigger elements in the lyrical content and how as a result the whole picture became so much more colourful. These are the only two songs that have taken a little over two years to come from birth to full maturity. All of the other songs on this album have been going thru' a gestation period of some extended time none more so than 'Right Here, Right Now' which despite it's impromptu feel had the drums programmed in '95 the Bass added and finalised over '97 and '98. Despite knowing that it required a Rock guitar I knew Meinrad (Our very own Bill Frissell crossed with Birelli LaGrene and a touch of Larry Carlton and a wee souchon of Ron Eschete !) wanted to play something I felt didn't quite have the 'it' quality, a highly unusual experience with him. However, I knew Phil Tyler, we had crossed paths during various music tuition exchanges and I initially invited him to record to see if I was indeed correct about the need for Rock guitar. Little did I know the answer would be such an affirmative 'Oh Yes!' some times things and sounds are just worth the wait. I just hope that like the seven songs never used on 'Midnight Over Erith' the nine songs that didn't make the final cut on 'Essential Endeavours' can be used to inspire more 'Joocypeach ' music.My experiences with Essential Endeavours have been too rewarding to resist the idea of working some more with the mellifluous guitar of Meinrad and the intriguing and intuitive lyrical abilities of Miranda and if we need that rocking guitar young Phil will always be first on the list... Essential Endeavours has been blessed with some mighty fine playing and the underlying revelation is one of a 'constant striving to achieve,' superbly evoked by our graphic designer and I hope you enjoy her work and interpretation of our sound as displayed on our Essential Endeavours CD sleeve.
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