About This CD This recording represents my return to the world of Jazz after a multi year hiatus. I had abandoned all virtually all jazz playing in recent years due to several factors: depression over the woeful state of the pianos available at most venues; a very busy period as a composer for TV and film, a burgeoning family and other factors too tiresome to enumerate here. I thought I wouldn't miss jazz too much as I had an alternative creative outlet through composing both film and classical music. It turned out that I was wrong. Being away from jazz became increasingly uncomfortable and I felt that a spring was being slowly wound up within me. This CD is the happy release of that spring. In returning to the studio, I was most fortunate to obtain the aid of some of the finest musicians in Jazz: Mike Smith- an inexplicably overlooked master of modern jazz drumming and an uncommonly sensitive musician. Mike brings vast experience and an uncannily keen ear to any rhythm section he plays with. Playing with Mike has been an ongoing inspiration to me for the many years he has been kind enough to show up at my gigs and I consider him one of my teachers. Drew Gress- I've also had the pleasure of playing with Drew for many years. He, Mike, Glenn Cashman and myself played as a quartet for several years in the 80's and 90's. Drew has a fantastic sound, rapport, wit and is immensely creative both as a player and composer. Internationally, Drew is already a force to be reckoned with and a figure to watch closely over the coming years. Warning: do not ask him to recite his 'limericks'. David Liebman. Mere superlatives do not do justice to the spirit, creativity, expressive sound and virtuosity that Dave brings to this and all his musical experiences. He is an undisputed giant of Twentieth Century Jazz and he continues to build from that position in the Twenty First Century. About the Music. As it is Jazz, most of the 'real' music is created by the improvisers, but about these are the frames and spars through which the improvisations are threaded: Grey Matters -This tune's insistence on being written down and refusal to vacate my brain until I had done so marked the point which led to this CD. Of note here, is Dave Liebman's serene navigation through an obtuse and perplexing harmonic maze. Moon and Shadow - The majority of this piece was written in about 30 minutes except for the F7 chord in bar 12 that somehow took me two days to find. Stealth Plan -. Bits and pieces of this were knocking about in my head for a long time and finally gelled one day in November 2004 Catching Threads - The title is a Chinese allusion to the invisible red threads that are said to connect orphans to their future adoptive parents. Crypto-Zoology - From day two and an homage to Ornette Coleman and the 'free jazz' his innovations spawned. A Winter Rose -I was thinking about Duke Ellington when I wrote this and this was an attempt to emulate the warmth (if not the style) emanating from so many of his beautiful ballads. Sparks -this was a brief improvisation. I like my free jazz short and snappy. Revenge of the Wally Dug - It would take too long to explain this ridiculous title, but this piece is yet another example of my Celtic/Jazz hybrid compositions. Someday I'll do a CD of all of those tunes. Unified Fields -One of the few tunes I play that still challenges me every time I play it. The title came from imagining Albert Einstein half remembering a Joni Mitchell concert. Solo Improvisation - I sat down and improvised this as the guys packed up their stuff. It has an appropriate feeling of finality to it that persuaded me to include it here.
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