New recording by Logan Hone, gigs and more…

And yet MORE pfMENTUM stuff! New release, Logan Hone Logan Hone, release concert Jeff Kaiser, solo trumpet concert What a great disc! Listen to free track by clicking here. Logan Hone’s Similar Fashion Logan Hone: Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet Lauren Baba: Viola Gregory Uhlmann: Guitar Mike Lockwood: Drums 1. Mother Figure 2. MJT 3. Missed the Boat 4. Fresh and Clean …

Logan Hone’s Similar Fashion (PFMCD096)

Jeff Kaiser 1 Comment

[playlist ids="770"]

Logan Hone’s Similar Fashion

Logan Hone: Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Lauren Baba: Viola
Gregory Uhlmann: Guitar
Mike Lockwood: Drums

1. Mother Figure
2. MJT
3. Missed the Boat
4. Fresh and Clean
5. Snapshoot
6. Movable Walls
7. Play
8. Don’t Touch That
9. Morning Bear

Recorded on March 14, 2015 at Studio City in Los Angeles, CA
Recorded and mixed by Greg Hartunian
Mastered by Carl Saff in August, 2015
Artwork and design by Jessica Li

Tracks 1-6 and 8 © 2015, Logan Hone (ASCAP)
Track 7 © 2006, Christian Asplund (ASCAP). Used by permission.
Track 9 © 2015, Lauren Baba (ASCAP)

pfMENTUM CD096

PFMCD096

PFMCD130

Michael Vlatkovich: 5 Winds: Five of Us (PFMCD130)

Jeff Kaiser

FIVE OF US

MICHAEL VLATKOVICH 5 WINDS

[playlist ids="2904"]

1. Please Help Me I’m Blowing Bubbles…………………………………………….:59

5 Winds Suite
2. Part 1: Six…………………………………………………………………6:49
3. Part 2: Twenty Six…………………………………………………………..3:30
4. Part 3: Nineteen — No. 7, Part 4: Zero…………………………………………5:42
5. Part 5: Five………………………………………………………………..5:34
6. Part 6: One…………………………………………………………………1:53
7. Part 7: Twenty-Four………………………………………………………….1:47
8. Part 8: Nineteen……………………………………………………..1:40
9. Part 9: Ninety-Three…………………………………………………………2:59

10. ForYou……………………………………………………………………..4:41
11. Natural Identical Flavors…………………………………………………….2:45
12. People In My Wallet………………………………………………………….4:35
13. (Alt), The Recognition Of Rhythm In The Life Of Worldly Things……………………3:33
14. What Question Did The Man With Seven Ears And Three Eyes Ask The Plastic Surgeon?…..4:38
15. For The Protection Of Yourself And Others You’ll Need To Wear Your Space Suit………8:13

Recorded June 3, 2015 at Array Space, Toronto
Recorded/mixed/mastered by Peter Lutek, www.peterlutek.com
All compositions © 2019 M. Vlatkovich, Julius Ivory Music ASCAP
Personnel (as appearing L to R in recording):
David Mott – baritone saxophone
Lina Allemano – trumpet
Michael Vlatkovich – trombone
Nicole Rampersaud – trumpet
Peter Lutek – tenor saxophone and frankenpipe
Photo: Julia Fitzgerald
Design: Ted Killian

pfMENTUM
PFMCD130
www.pfmentum.com

Richard Valitutto / Dave Wilson: SLANT (PFMCD121)

Jeff Kaiser

SLANT

Richard Valitutto, piano
Dave Wilson, tenor saxophone

[playlist ids="2819"]

1. set (zajdi) (3:42)
2. enviros (2:12)
3. -i—e- (8:59)
4. suspiros (3:08)
5. what is the name of that (4:56)
6. poeme (3:13)
7. me then you then me then you then me (2:47)
8. p-tch-s (7:01)
9. you then me then you then me then you (3:46)
10. rise (2:42)

All compositions by Richard Valitutto and Dave Wilson
Recorded and mixed by Vanessa Parr at the Recording Studio at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, Los Angeles, June 10-11 and 27-28, 2016
Mastered by Justin DeHart, Anaheim, California, January 16-17, 2017
Additional engineering by Lorenzo Bühne, Wellington, New Zealand, January 17, 2017
©2018, Richard Valitutto Music (ASCAP) and Hamlin Lake Publishing (ASCAP)
Graphic Design by Ted Killian

The Aaron Copland Fund forMusic (logo)

Special thanks to the Aaron Copland Fund for Music Recording Program, the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music, and the Longy School of Music of Bard College for their generous financial support of this album project. Additional thanks to Jeff Kaiser, Maxwell Gualtieri, and the entire team at pfMENTUM for their edifying interest in and unflagging patience with this project’s development over the last few years as just one part of their admirable long-term efforts to strengthen and bring together the experimental/creative music community at large through the recording arts.

pfMENTUM CD121
www.pfmentum.com

*****************

SLANT bears the marks of our interest in exploring possibilities as performers composing together instantaneously and spontaneously. This project came together over a period of months, as we cultivated improvisational compositions, revisited them as compositional improvisations, and—circling back repeatedly—layered on top of each the lingering remnants of previous iterations. Tethered as they are to our personal musical pasts, intersections, and divergences, the sounds on these recordings push and pull one another into our own comfortable and uncomfortable areas as listeners and players, leading us into new ways of feeling the air move around us, and moving through that air and into it ourselves.

The recordings of this project came to life just before—and in the midst of—a liminal period when my own path was diverted. It shifted unexpectedly but by my own choice, in a direction that I knew, at the time, would open and close other paths and set new directions. For Richard and (especially) for me, the awareness of my impending departure from Los Angeles permeated the ways the sounds were conceived at all stages of composition, including their capture in recorded form.

The interplay, the interaction, the ways that we move with and against one another —all of these gestures in SLANT take oblique pathways that don’t so much lead to a hoped-for culmination but, instead, end up in a place not previously conceived.

Dave Wilson
Wellington, New Zealand
June 2018

*****************

The pathways spiraling out of set (zajdi) originate in Macedonia, where Dave has been immersed in sound worlds that involve at least a thread of music either emerging from—or gesturing towards—rural life. “Zajdi, zajdi jasno sonce” (Set, set bright sun) is a popular traditional song that slowly unfolds, allowing the singer to display their melismatic facility and virtuosity. The song’s lyrics address the bright sun (telling it to set) and the bright moon (telling it to drown itself). When the text eventually turns to address the forest (which is the “sister” of the singer) it tells it to darken itself along with the singer: the forest for its leaves, the singer for their youth. The last words of the text lament: “your leaves, O forest sister, will return to you again; my youth, O forest sister, will not return to me.” Typically a mournful song drenched in beauty, our reading of the song also shows the aggression and darkness of youth’s furious passing. Forming the melodic and dramatic foundation of this work, the agitated, plangent saxophone lines are supported by a piano part that was directly inspired by another southeastern European influence: the Romanian spectral composer Horațiu Rădulescu, particularly his late piano sonatas.

In enviros we explore the “inner world” of both instruments’ sounds: piano harmonics and saxophone subtones. The compositional concept in this case is not so much linear or narrative as “environmental.” This yields a different improvised performance each time it’s performed, while the piece retains the same distinct feeling and texture. (In the same way that a certain patch of landscape or a particular city street is always identifiably itself and yet is shaped and reshaped anew by those that move through it, the light that strikes it, and the weather patterns that color it from day to day.) Air, space, and resonance come in and out of contact with one another, the shimmering microtonal harmonies trembling as they layer, creating the environmental texture.

-i—e- is a compositional structure based on one of the synthetic scales created by the boundary-pushing American composer, alto saxophonist, bass clarinetist, and flautist Eric Dolphy. In -i—e-, saxophonist and pianist take turns improvising cadenza-like monologues within the scale’s prismatic world of fleeting tonal allusions. After the extended solos, the players converge in ecstatic agreement on a composed melodic head based on the scale, the apotheosis of the improvisation. The instruments guide one another along self-generated paths to assume new trajectories that, for a moment, briefly converge.

suspiros sounds the sighing exasperation, release, and mourning of impending departure, loss, and gain in an impromptu ballad. Super- imposing a microtonal saxophone melody over a tonal/modal piano accompaniment, this piece doesn’t settle or provide catharsis, but remains and persists— pushing and pulling as it breathes in and out.
what is the name of that leans heavily on Ornette Coleman and Prime Time. It takes Coleman’s “What is the name of that song?” and places his horn line on hammers and strings, recasts the electric bass on the horn and interweaves the guitars and drums parts throughout. Multiple melodies, temporalities, and tone colors point this performance in many directions, folding it back again on itself with new creases, and finishing in manic abandon.

poeme is a musing on the mystical, color-drenched music of the late-Romantic early-20th century Russian composer Aleksandr Skryabin, specifically, Opus 69, No. 1, one of his many “Poèmes” for solo piano. This performance takes direct inspiration from the many accounts of the pianist-composer’s seemingly improvised performances of his own works, further illuminated by his idiosyncratic rhythmic notation and a harmonic language almost entirely derived from his synthetic chords.

When we conceptualized me then you then me then you then me, we took turns leading, following, and finding the space in between the constructed dichotomy of leading and following.
p-tch-s is a systematic progression through the anatomy of the instruments themselves, moving from one tactile space to another, embracing sonic possibilities and realizing points of intersection just as they are slipping away.
We’re taking turns again in you then me then you then me then you, but this time you are following me, and then I follow you.

The patterns that emerge from rise point to something new, something incomplete and unformed, something not yet known or not to be known, something that remains, more uncertainties, fewer known ways ahead, acknowledging that perhaps closure is best reached via more questions and fewer explanations.

Richard Valitutto,
Los Angeles, CA – New York, NY
Dave Wilson,
Wellington, New Zealand
July 2018

*****************

PFMCD121

The Vinny Golia Orchestra Live at REDCAT Los Angeles (PFMDVD123)

Jeff Kaiser

[This product is a DVD]

The
Vinny Golia
Orchestra
Live at
REDCAT
Los Angeles

Set One
1. Set One Introduction 2:31
Primary soloists:
Jonathan Stehney, bassoon
Andrew Rowan, trumpet

2. Show of Force 3:44
Primary soloists:
Carmina Escobar and
Andrea Young, voices

3. 5 (Large Ensemble Version) 11:22
Primary soloists:
Gavin Templeton, alto saxophone
Vinny Golia, baritone saxophone
Stefan Kac, tuba

4. Up In The Sky, Like The Sun At High Noon
(The Eiga Clan Frames The Roscoe Trip) 11:27
Primary soloists:
Erik KM Clark, violin
Dan Clucas and Daniel Rosenboom, trumpets
Jon Armstrong, tenor saxophone

5. Lost & Found (For Henry) 10:49
Primary soloists:
Aniela Perry, cello
Joseph Thel, english horn
Alex Noice, electric guitar
Ingrid Lee, piano

6. Carbine One, Change A Letter 6:13
Primary soloists:
Ben McIntosh, trombone
Michael Mull, alto saxophone
7. Carbine Two 6:09
Primary soloists:
Drew Jordan, trumpet
Vinny Golia and Christine Tavolacci, piccolos

Set Two
1. Set Two Introduction 3:50
Jon Armstrong, tenor saxophone

2. Would You Like Help
On Your Journey To Mottsfield? 6:57
Primary soloists:
Kathy Pisaro, oboe
Vinny Golia, tubax (contrabass saxophone)

3. Soccer Gear Dropped On Religious Leaders 6:57
Primary Soloist:
Alex Noice, guitar
Brian Walsh, bass clarinet
Daniel Rosenboom, piccolo trumpet

4. Barnum Brown Finds Something 4:10
Primary Soloists:
Ingrid Lee, piano
Vinny Golia, sopranino saxophone

5. Just Another Morning 1:57

6. Encore 8:36
Vinny Golia directed improvisation:
Brian Walsh, bass clarinet
Lauren Baba and Andrew Tholl, violin
Christine Tavolacci, bass flute
Jonathan Stehney, bassoon
Alex Noice, guitar
Gavin Templeton, alto saxophone

Special thanks:
Kathy Carbone, Lauren Pratt, Wayne Peet, Allen Kaufman,
David Rosenboom, Marc Lowenstein, California Institute
of the Arts, and all the members of the Vinny Golia New
Music Orchestra

A joint release of
pfMENTUM
and Ninewinds
PFMDVD123/NWDVD400
www.pfmentum.com

Graphic Design: Ted Killian

All compositions and arrangements by Vinny Golia
℗ and © 2018 Ninewinds, BMI

Recorded live at REDCAT in Los Angeles, April 9, 2014
All works Vinny Golia

Conductors Mark Lowenstein and Vinny Golia

Strings
Violins: Andrew Tholl, Henry Webster, Melinda Rice, Stephanie Moorehouse, Lauren Baba, Eric KM Clark, Madeline Falcone
Violas: Cassia Streb, Natalie Brejcha, Morgan Lee Gerstmar
Cellos: Aniela Perry, Derek Stein, April Guthrie, Thea Mesirow
Bass: David Tranchina, Ivan Johnson

Woodwinds
Oboe: Kathy Pisaro
Oboe/English Horn: Joseph Thel
Bassoons: Jonathan Stehney, Archie Carey
C, Alto and Bass Flutes, Piccolo: Christine Tavolacci, Sammi Lee
Saxophones, Flutes, Clarinets: Vinny Golia, Gavin Templeton, Jon Armstrong
Clarinet and Alto Sax: Michael Mull
Bass Clarinet: Brian Walsh

Brass
Trumpets: Dan Clucas, Daniel Rosenboom, Drew Jordan, Andrew Rowan
French Horn: Erin Poulin, Adam Wolf
Trombones: Evan Sprecht, Ben McIntosh, Matt Barbier
Bass Trombone: John Tyler Jordan
Tuba: Stefan Kac

Piano Ingrid Lee

Guitar Alex Noice

Percussion
Mallets: Jodie Landau
Auxiliary Percussion: Tony Gennaro, Vinny Golia
Drum Kit: Andrew Lessman

Voice Andrea Young, Carmina Escobar

Recording Concert recording by Wayne Peet

Mixed and mastered at Newzone Studio, Los Angeles by Wayne Peet with Aaron Druckman (assistant engineer)
Video by Sunlight Digital
Video recording by Allen Kaufman and Jimmy Alioto
Edited and authored by Allen Kaufman

About The Work
When first notified of this REDCAT concert, I planned to meld my electric sextet with my large ensemble; two groups I hold very dear to my heart. Along the way many things happened. I added vocalists, I wanted to have an extended string section and I thought about how I would incorporate the long standing members of the large ensemble and the many new bright faces creating such vibrant music here in Los Angeles. Also along the way tragic events past through the lives of loved ones, the music community suffered the loss of many great musicians and lastly, just a few days ago, Pierre Fauteux passed onto another phase of his continuum. Pierre’s love of music as well as his love of life is embedded in my mind. This concert is a dedication to and a celebration of his time spent on this planet with his lovely wife, Helen, and their two outstanding children, Monique and Jacqueline. It is also dedicated to all those who have lost loved ones.

Pondering on these events happening in my life, the question is (and always has been) how to make music that is meaningful and communicative amidst sorrow and chaos. I still do not know the answer, and my journey takes me deeper into the sounds we create. These compositions were written and re-orchestrated between 2004 and 2014 and are an overview of areas I have been exploring, namely, rhythm, shape, form, and color, with my large and medium ensembles over this time period.

Carbine One, Change A Letter and Carbine Two are portraits of one of my closest friends. Up In The Sky Like The Sun At High Noon is another entry into a series based on driving times in Los Angeles, which as every Los Angeles dweller knows, can be fast and brutal or just plain brutal. This composition also comments on the Eiga clan in feudal Japan, which is a source of inspiration for many other compositions I have written for other various sized ensembles. Show of Force is a commentary on the posturing of nations and how political leaders choose to respond. Lost and Found is for the enigmatic Henry Grimes, whom many thought dead, but who reappeared after many years living in Los Angeles. I have had the great pleasure to perform with Henry numerous times since his reemergence. 5 is the oldest of the compositions, and was originally written for a quartet, then expanded for a quintet, condensed for a saxophone quartet, arranged for a sextet, and finally, orchestrated for this new orchestra. Would you like help in your journey to Motts field? should conjure up images if you enjoy a certain type of film genre.

Lastly, we come to three pieces for Pierre. These compositions, started as a trilogy for percussion and orchestra in 2004, are now just completed. The titles are humorous in honor of Pierre’s love of life, fun, wine, and music. Hopefully you will enjoy them as much as I did while writing them and we have performing them.

In my work there is a balance between the worlds of composition and improvisation. It takes extremely talented musicians to straddle these worlds which includes following a conductor, watching for hand signs and signals, reading complex music, improvising within specific guidelines and interpreting a composer’s ideas into concrete form. I come into contact everyday at CalArts with musicians comfortable working in this way, so after much thought instead of melding my electric sextet with my large ensemble, I decided to take a more orchestral approach and created a new incarnation of my large ensemble for this concert: The Vinny Golia New Music Orchestra. This orchestra comprises many alumni and students who have passed through my various classes and musical groups through the years, as well as CalArts faculty members. The musicians in this orchestra all share a love of exploration and the highest regard for music. It is truly an honor and a privilege to be performing and sharing the stage with them. Tonight we share with you our love of sound in memory of all who have passed through our lives.

—Vinny Golia, Valencia, California, 5 April 2014

Disk Label Text:

The
Vinny Golia
Orchestra
Live at
REDCAT
Los Angeles

A joint release of
pfMENTUM and Ninewinds
PFMDVD123/NWDVD400
www.pfmentum.com

All compositions and arrangements by Vinny Golia
℗ and © 2018 Ninewinds, BMI

New Director of Development, THREE new recordings, and an intern

Lot’s of news! ———————————————————— In this issue: * New Director of Development: Andrew Pask! * New recordings by: + The Glen Whitehead Trio + Andrew Raffo Dewar / John Hughes / Chad Popple + Guerino Mazzola and Heinz Geisser * AND…introducing our first ever intern: Nick Welch! ———————————————————— We are thrilled to announce that Andrew Pask is coming on board …

Andrew Raffo Dewar / John Hughes / Chad Popple: Reflejo (PFMCD122)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="1555"]

Reflejo

Andrew Raffo Dewar (soprano saxophone, composition)
John Hughes (double bass)
Chad Popple (drums, percussion, and vibraphone)

1. Reflejo I (6:48)
2. Reflejo II (4:12)
3. Reflejo III (10:14)
4. Improvisation 1 (3:48)
5. Improvisation 2 (4:15)
6. Improvisation 3 (3:38)
7. Improvisation 4 (7:48)

Recorded, mixed, and mastered by Wolfgang Helbsing in Hamburg, Germany on November 7, 2015.

Cover Art by Eduardo Serón, “Espacios” (1973) 80x80cm, acrylic on canvas.
Used by permission of the artist.

All titles ©2018 Andrew Raffo Dewar/John Hughes/Chad Popple.

“Reflejo” composed and published by Andrew Raffo Dewar, Free Movement Arts (ASCAP).

All other tracks co-composed by Dewar/Hughes/Popple, published by Free Movement Arts (ASCAP).

Layout and design by Hillary McDaniel, www.hillarymcdaniel.com

PFMCD122
www.pfmentum.com

Danny Gouker: Signal Problems / Love Letters (PFMCD124)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="1458"]

Signal Problems

Love Letter

Danny Gouker: Trumpet, Compositions
Eric Trudel: Tenor Saxophone
Adam Hopkins: Bass
Nathan Ellman-bell: Drums

1. Mad Lib 5:28
2. Haiku 4:22
3. Word Play 4:56
4. Enough is Enough 3:24
5. Final Word 4: 24

All music ©2018, Daniel Allen Gouker ASCAP
Recorded at an Airbnb in Catskill, NY by Nathaniel Morgan Aug 15, 2017
Mixed by Nathaniel Morgan, January 2018
Mastered by Wayne Peet at Newzone Studio, March 2018
Artwork and Layout by T.J. Huff

pfMENTUM CD124
PFMCD124

Jason Robinson / Janus Ensemble: Resonant Geographies (PFMLP115)

Jeff Kaiser Leave a Comment

[playlist ids="1360"]

PLEASE NOTE: THIS PAGE IS FOR PURCHASING THE DOUBLE LP (VINYL) VERSION.
Please click here for the CD.

Resonant Geographies
Jason Robinson

Jason Robinson’s Janus Ensemble:
Jason Robinson—tenor and soprano saxophones, alto flute
JD Parran—alto and contra alto clarinets, bass flute
Oscar Noriega—Bb and bass clarinets, alto saxophone
Marty Ehrlich—bass clarinet, alto saxophone, flute
Michael Dessen—trombone
Bill Lowe—bass trombone, tuba
Marcus Rojas—tuba
Liberty Ellman—guitar
Drew Gress—bass
George Schuller—drums
Ches Smith—drums, glockenspiel

Recorded at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY, January 5-6, 2016
Engineered and mixed by Mike Marciano
Produced by Jason Robinson
Recording session produced by Steph Robinson
Recording session assistant: Jamie Sandel
Mastered by Rich Breen, Dogmatic Studios, Burbank, CA
All images by David Gloman. Cover, West Worthington Falls, 2016, 17×21 inches, acrylic on paper (detail). Side A label, Bear Den Falls, 2016, 17×22 inches, acrylic on paper (detail). Side B label, Westfield River, 2016, 17×21 inches, acrylic on paper (detail). Side C label, Gold in Brook Falls, 2016, 11×14 inches, acrylic on paper (detail). Side D label, Gunn Brook Falls, 2015, 18×23 inches, acrylic on paper (detail).
Photography by Scott Friedlander, (c) 2016, used with permission
Graphic design by Ted Killian

Track Titles:

Side A:
Facing East (10:41)
Futures Unimagined (8:12)

Side B:
Confluence (6:55)
Dreaming (8:24)

Side C:
Facing West (6:31)
Circuitry Unbound (8:44)

Side D:
Outcropping (12:14)

All compositions by Jason Robinson (ASCAP)
All rights reserved ℗ and © 2018 Jason Robinson

https://youtu.be/-43JeWvAKRI

Arriving in Montreal in the middle of the Janus Ensemble tour, I watched as my fellow trombonist Bill Lowe wrangled his enormous tuba and bass trombone cases out of the van, through sub-zero winds and icy sidewalks, and into the tiny club where we’d soon perform. This would be a challenge for someone half Bill’s age, but he was unfazed, focused only on warming up all that metal in time for the soundcheck.

We’d been driving all day and I’d spent much of it listening to Bill’s inspiring stories. For a half century, he’s contributed to expanding the ways that African American music is understood, starting out working with celebrated musical innovators in 1960s London and 1970s New York City and continuing through an extensive career that encompasses music making, community engagement, festival organizing, and academic work. As Taylor Ho Bynum points out, despite all this, Bill has “existed somewhat under the radar, partly because he’s been equally committed to teaching and scholarship throughout his career, and partly because the top-down, star-focused version of jazz history rarely leaves room for the artists in the trenches who are the lifeblood of the music.”1

That night, this “lifeblood” was a large band crammed onto the stage without a spare inch, working through a wide-ranging set of Jason Robinson’s music. “Futures Unimagined,” a piece we played and also part of this album, is typical of Jason’s compositional range and sensibility. It begins with an introduction where the only indication in the score is “collective improvisation – start sparse,” giving the band time for a spacious, internal dialogue that differs wildly each time, but eventually coalesces into more intricate notations and then a blues-inflected song form. There, one lush, recurring melodic phrase is scored for trombone on top of clarinets, an allusion to a specific color and orchestration developed by Duke Ellington in his 1930 composition “Mood Indigo.” As if to heighten the connection, Bill’s brilliant trombone solo on this piece combines throat growling and a harmon mute in his own version of a technique pioneered by Ellington’s trombonist “Tricky” Sam Nanton. Eventually the piece ends with a flourish of improvisational dialogue among two drumset players, George Schuller and Ches Smith, cutting to a sparse snare drum gesture played eight times in perfect unison by both drummers, an elusive and only temporary closure before we continue to the next chapter of the suite.

Almost a century ago, Duke Ellington’s early ensemble music helped establish an important new practice of composing music not only for specific instruments, but also for individual improvisers, drawing on each musician’s personal sound for inspiration and raw material. It’s an approach that has since expanded in infinite directions, especially in African American-based improvised music, but always with a powerful dialectic at its core: It depends on and highlights individuality, and it’s also a deeply collective mode of creativity.

That spirit infuses Resonant Geographies, an extended suite Jason has composed for these eleven improvisers, most of whom have performed in his Janus Ensemble since 2008. Compositionally, the suite is a series of sonic reflections on specific locations that have been important to Jason, each movement a kind of tone poem moving through a range of textures and forms related to that memory. But the suite is just as much animated by musical geographies, both those of the improvisers in this band who bring different relationships to jazz traditions, and those of the composers past and present whose influences echo throughout the score, filtered through Jason’s own compositional sensibility.

Multi-reedist J.D. Parran is another individual who has inspired both Jason and me for many years and brings his unique history to this album. Reflecting on his experience growing up in inner city St. Louis during the 1960s, J.D. describes how he was fortunate to have excellent school music teachers that were part of the “talented tenth group of African American educators.” He comments that these teachers, many of whom had recently migrated from the south, were “very, very special in what they had to go through—in mostly traditionally black colleges and universities—to get their education, and the rigorous kind of training that they received.”2

Rigor: “The quality of being extremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate.” I associate this quality with Parran himself, one of those rare people I’d describe as a master musician. He’s achieved astonishing technique on multiple reed instruments, including less common ones such as the bass saxophone and alto clarinet, and he’s worked as both an interpreter and an improviser across wide-ranging forms of contemporary music, from his early years with mentors in the Black Artist Group (BAG), an important St. Louis collective, through graduate-level formal training and decades of trans-disciplinary, creative collaborations based in New York City. As an improviser, he’s woven all of these diverse experiences into a “very, very special” sound all his own.

I first heard J.D. in the late 1990s, at a solo concert on which he played several reed instruments. I remember being especially stunned by his interpretation of “St. Louis Blues” on bass clarinet. Thinking back now on his sound, I’m reminded of these words:
“In the context of improvised musics that exhibit strong influences from African- American ways of music-making, musical sound—or rather, ‘one’s own sound’—becomes a carrier for history and cultural identity. As Yusef Lateef maintains, ‘The sound of the improvisation seems to tell us what kind of person is improvising. We feel that we can hear character or personality in the way the musician improvises.’”3 —George E. Lewis4

For this album, one place where Jason features J.D. is on “Dreaming,” the middle movement of the suite. Midway into the piece, J.D. interprets a melody that Jason composed to highlight the unique timbre of the alto clarinet, shifting between gradient inflection and incredible precision of pitch with a rich, fluid tone. He then improvises a solo that slowly blooms across multiple registers and propels the band through a kaleidescopic transformation, interacting especially with the dense, rhythmic composite coming from the two drummers. Here as in many other moments on this album, George and Ches are expert alchemists, constantly discovering new ways to mix their two distinct drumset sounds in a dialogue that grounds the band but is always shifting.

In the final section of “Dreaming,” the ensemble navigates a scored section of tempo shifts and dramatic gestures for low brass and reeds. These two effects together make for another historical citation, as specific as the Ellington one: here the reference is to the second movement of Charles Mingus’ album The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, a landmark recording in the history of long-form suites composed for improvisers.

Hearing this Mingus trace isn’t necessary for enjoying the track’s explosive ending, but the point is that this model of composition always includes such imaginary dialogues, honoring one’s sources in ways that range from explicit to oblique. And the references aren’t always to the distant past—for example, the hocketed texture scored for two tubas and trombone over a churning rhythm section in “Facing West” points towards the work of contemporary composer Henry Threadgill, whose imaginative bands Jason has cited as a formative influence on the instrumentation of the Janus Ensemble. Here again, Jason’s choice of soloist adds to this connection, as this music launches into an otherworldly solo by virtuoso tubist Marcus Rojas, one of several musicians in this band who has played in Threadgill’s ensembles.

This interweaving of personal and collective histories is a reminder of something important about developing one’s “own sound”: you don’t do it alone. This kind of music requires extensive solitary practice and study, but our sounds as improvisers also evolve through infinite reactions and interactions with others, including the musicians we work with and others we know only through records, like the one you are holding now.

This is Jason’s third recording with the Janus Ensemble, which he has been leading in flexible configurations since 2008. All the musicians on this album have been part of the ensemble since then, except for two new additions on this record, the phenomenal reed player Oscar Noriega and myself on trombone. Though I’m new to the Janus ensemble, Jason and I have been close collaborators and friends for about 20 years, working in numerous bands and projects together. We first met when he moved to San Diego for the same reason I did: to study music with George Lewis and Anthony Davis in a graduate program at UC San Diego

Lewis and Davis radically expanded the questions we were asking about music and inspired us in endless ways. They modeled a creative practice that is rigorous in craft, wide open in creative possibility, and always with a thoughtful, complex and individual connection to the world. They encouraged us to develop our own communities and our own music, not just adopt theirs, but they also introduced us, figuratively and literally, to many other artists who would become important inspirations and mentors, including J.D. Parran and Marty Ehrlich, both on this record.

When I first met Jason, he had been playing on various scenes in northern California and had been mentored by the late Mel Graves, a bassist who ran a vibrant and highly original jazz program at Sonoma State University. Jason was immersed in music with typical intensity, having already released an album of his music on his own label while still in his early 20s. He was inquisitive, deep into the saxophone, creating music with darting, angular lines and exuberant grooves. His music had a driving quality, an optimistic, forward momentum, but always with a sense of openness to shifts in direction, whether subtle or extreme.

I still hear that same musical DNA in Jason’s sound, but deepened through two decades of work and expanded to a broader palette through collaborations like this one. This suite is carefully crafted to feature all of the improvisers in both solo and collective contexts while also covering a wide-ranging compositional terrain. Some sections delve deep into texture and sound, either through detailed score notations that exploit the band’s unusual instrumentation, or through improvisations set within imaginative backdrops. Other stretches of music revel in the rich rhythmic and harmonic language of jazz traditions, sometimes recalling the buoyant energies of early big band music and other times with a more abstract lens that evokes later “creative orchestra” explorations. What ties it all together and makes the work a long-form composition rather than just a sequence of varied parts is the dialogue among these different soundworlds, not just between movements but within them; none of the tracks end where they begin, and each travels unpredictably through a different blend of historical references, individual expressions and sonic explorations.

The band you hear on this record is diverse in generation as well as musical backgrounds, and along with those mentioned above, the lineup includes other equally renowned composer-improvisers. Multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich, like J.D. Parran, began his long history of contributions to this music working with musicians from BAG and the AACM in St. Louis during the late 1960s, and over the decades since has created a wide-ranging body of creative work as a composer and collaborator. The versatile bassist and composer Drew Gress has long been one of the most in-demand improvisers on the NYC scene, grounding bands led by an incredible range of contemporary innovators, and the same can be said of acclaimed guitarist and composer Liberty Ellman, another musician here connected to Henry Threadgill, in Liberty’s case through working closely with Threadgill over many years alongside his own projects.

This band encompasses a fascinating cross-section of jazz-inspired contemporary music scenes, broad and difficult to categorize, but one thread running through the Janus Ensemble and Jason’s music is the idea that this wide range of creative expression and method is central to jazz traditions, and always has been. Many people in the jazz industry still seem eager to reinforce old fault lines and put every new record in a particular box, with avant-garde flavors on one side and “traditional” ones on the other. But music like this embodies a more expansive stance, a recognition that a wide spectrum of expressive possibilities is always present to begin with, endlessly woven into new forms by individuals responding to changing contexts. Speaking in Arthur Taylor’s classic 1972 book of musician-to-musician interviews, the great drummer Philly Joe Jones harshly critiques “bag carriers” who superficially imitate the screams of the avant-garde, but he also cites artists like John Coltrane to distinguish experimentalists who are committed to a deep, integrative craft. In response to a question about “freedom music,” Jones deftly deconstructs conventional discursive boundaries by commenting that “everybody’s been playing free. Every time you play a solo you’re free to play what you want to play. That’s freedom right there.”5 I hope you can enjoy this new music by Jason Robinson and the Janus Ensemble in that spirit. Thanks for listening. — Michael Dessen

Works cited
1. Taylor Ho Bynum, “Guest Post: Taylor Ho Bynum on Bill Lowe,” in Destination: Out, Feb. 1, 2012, accessed June 20, 2017 <http://destination-out.com/?p=3384>.
2. Interview with J.D. Parran by Yusef Jones, accessed June 2017: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMYc63l6OMg>.
3. Yusef A. Lateef, “The Pleasures of Voice in Improvised Music,” in Roberta Thelwell, ed., Views on Black American Music: Selected Proceedings from the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Annual Black Musicians’ Conferences, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, No. 3 (1985–1988) pp. 43–46.
4. George E. Lewis, “Too Many Notes: Computers, Complexity and Culture in ‘Voyager,’” Leonardo Music Journal, Vol. 10 (2000), pp. 33-39.
5. Art Taylor. Notes and Tones : Musician-to-Musician Interviews. New York: Da Capo Press, 1993, pp. 47-48.
_______________________________________________________
Resonant Geographies is a meditation on place, memory, relationships, and community. Each movement of the suite is inspired by specific places, a canvas of various experiences and memories for me over a number of years. These are not the sounds of places in a narrow sense, but what is contained here might as well be considered a sounding of those places. A subtle but important distinction. A proportion, a relationship, a scent, a feeling. Like the shifting translucent blues and oranges of a rejuvenating and boundless sunset along the north coast of California, or the warm embraces or knowing glances of friends and loved ones, this project is a process. It continues to unfold. Great heartache, struggle, discovery, and rebirth accompanied/s its long stages. My heart smiles again. I hope that you, the listener, find yourself in the sounds contained here. And I hope we are all guided by compassion and empathy as we sound places, relationships, communities.

This album is dedicated to George Finney Thomason.

I’ve been drawn to the ocean for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are standing on giant rocks extending into the majestic Pacific some four hours north of San Francisco, while staring with amazement at the spray created by crashing waves, enchanted by the patterns of mussels on rocks, the endless volume of water, the mysterious and beckoning horizon. And the smell—salt, seaweed, richly moist, oxygenated air. I feel at home in this wondrous meeting of water, land, and air. I can still see my great grandfather standing on the bluffs, the rocks, the beaches, and hear his voice as he guides and encourages me to explore. What kind of place is the vast, unimaginably large expanse of the ocean? — Jason Robinson

Deepest thanks to my musical collaborators and friends heard on this recording, whose collaborative spirits and finely tuned personal sound approaches make immeasurable contributions to the music. Thanks also to numerous others who helped make this project possible: Mike Marciano, Rich Breen, Jeff Kaiser, Glenn Siegel, Priscilla Page, Matan Rubinstein, Paul Lichter, Eric Lewis, Jim Staley, Jamie Sandel, and my colleagues at Amherst College. And without the love and support of my closest friends and family, none of this would have been possible. Let’s put this on the turntable, Piccolo. It’s about time!

This recording was made possible by the H. Axel Schupf ’57 Fund for Intellectual Life at Amherst College.

pfMENTUM
PFMLP115
www.pfmentum.com

Jason Robinson / Janus Ensemble: Resonant Geographies (PFMCD115)

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PLEASE NOTE: THIS PAGE IS FOR PURCHASING THE CD VERSION.
Click here for the double LP (vinyl)

Resonant Geographies
Jason Robinson

Jason Robinson’s Janus Ensemble:
Jason Robinson—tenor and soprano saxophones, alto flute
JD Parran—alto and contra alto clarinets, bass flute
Oscar Noriega—Bb and bass clarinets, alto saxophone
Marty Ehrlich—bass clarinet, alto saxophone, flute
Michael Dessen—trombone
Bill Lowe—bass trombone, tuba
Marcus Rojas—tuba
Liberty Ellman—guitar
Drew Gress—bass
George Schuller—drums
Ches Smith—drums, glockenspiel

Recorded at Systems Two, Brooklyn, NY, January 5-6, 2016
Engineered and mixed by Mike Marciano
Produced by Jason Robinson
Recording session produced by Steph Robinson
Recording session assistant: Jamie Sandel
Mastered by Rich Breen, Dogmatic Studios, Burbank, CA
All images by David Gloman. Cover, West Worthington Falls, 2016, 17×21 inches, acrylic on paper (detail). Side A label, Bear Den Falls, 2016, 17×22 inches, acrylic on paper (detail). Side B label, Westfield River, 2016, 17×21 inches, acrylic on paper (detail). Side C label, Gold in Brook Falls, 2016, 11×14 inches, acrylic on paper (detail). Side D label, Gunn Brook Falls, 2015, 18×23 inches, acrylic on paper (detail).
Photography by Scott Friedlander, (c) 2016, used with permission
Graphic design by Ted Killian

Track Titles:

Facing East (10:41)
Futures Unimagined (8:12)
Confluence (6:55)
Dreaming (8:24)
Facing West (6:31)
Circuitry Unbound (8:44)
Outcropping (12:14)

All compositions by Jason Robinson (ASCAP)
All rights reserved ℗ and © 2018 Jason Robinson

https://youtu.be/-43JeWvAKRI

Arriving in Montreal in the middle of the Janus Ensemble tour, I watched as my fellow trombonist Bill Lowe wrangled his enormous tuba and bass trombone cases out of the van, through sub-zero winds and icy sidewalks, and into the tiny club where we’d soon perform. This would be a challenge for someone half Bill’s age, but he was unfazed, focused only on warming up all that metal in time for the soundcheck.

We’d been driving all day and I’d spent much of it listening to Bill’s inspiring stories. For a half century, he’s contributed to expanding the ways that African American music is understood, starting out working with celebrated musical innovators in 1960s London and 1970s New York City and continuing through an extensive career that encompasses music making, community engagement, festival organizing, and academic work. As Taylor Ho Bynum points out, despite all this, Bill has “existed somewhat under the radar, partly because he’s been equally committed to teaching and scholarship throughout his career, and partly because the top-down, star-focused version of jazz history rarely leaves room for the artists in the trenches who are the lifeblood of the music.”1

That night, this “lifeblood” was a large band crammed onto the stage without a spare inch, working through a wide-ranging set of Jason Robinson’s music. “Futures Unimagined,” a piece we played and also part of this album, is typical of Jason’s compositional range and sensibility. It begins with an introduction where the only indication in the score is “collective improvisation – start sparse,” giving the band time for a spacious, internal dialogue that differs wildly each time, but eventually coalesces into more intricate notations and then a blues-inflected song form. There, one lush, recurring melodic phrase is scored for trombone on top of clarinets, an allusion to a specific color and orchestration developed by Duke Ellington in his 1930 composition “Mood Indigo.” As if to heighten the connection, Bill’s brilliant trombone solo on this piece combines throat growling and a harmon mute in his own version of a technique pioneered by Ellington’s trombonist “Tricky” Sam Nanton. Eventually the piece ends with a flourish of improvisational dialogue among two drumset players, George Schuller and Ches Smith, cutting to a sparse snare drum gesture played eight times in perfect unison by both drummers, an elusive and only temporary closure before we continue to the next chapter of the suite.

Almost a century ago, Duke Ellington’s early ensemble music helped establish an important new practice of composing music not only for specific instruments, but also for individual improvisers, drawing on each musician’s personal sound for inspiration and raw material. It’s an approach that has since expanded in infinite directions, especially in African American-based improvised music, but always with a powerful dialectic at its core: It depends on and highlights individuality, and it’s also a deeply collective mode of creativity.

That spirit infuses Resonant Geographies, an extended suite Jason has composed for these eleven improvisers, most of whom have performed in his Janus Ensemble since 2008. Compositionally, the suite is a series of sonic reflections on specific locations that have been important to Jason, each movement a kind of tone poem moving through a range of textures and forms related to that memory. But the suite is just as much animated by musical geographies, both those of the improvisers in this band who bring different relationships to jazz traditions, and those of the composers past and present whose influences echo throughout the score, filtered through Jason’s own compositional sensibility.

Multi-reedist J.D. Parran is another individual who has inspired both Jason and me for many years and brings his unique history to this album. Reflecting on his experience growing up in inner city St. Louis during the 1960s, J.D. describes how he was fortunate to have excellent school music teachers that were part of the “talented tenth group of African American educators.” He comments that these teachers, many of whom had recently migrated from the south, were “very, very special in what they had to go through—in mostly traditionally black colleges and universities—to get their education, and the rigorous kind of training that they received.”2

Rigor: “The quality of being extremely thorough, exhaustive, or accurate.” I associate this quality with Parran himself, one of those rare people I’d describe as a master musician. He’s achieved astonishing technique on multiple reed instruments, including less common ones such as the bass saxophone and alto clarinet, and he’s worked as both an interpreter and an improviser across wide-ranging forms of contemporary music, from his early years with mentors in the Black Artist Group (BAG), an important St. Louis collective, through graduate-level formal training and decades of trans-disciplinary, creative collaborations based in New York City. As an improviser, he’s woven all of these diverse experiences into a “very, very special” sound all his own.

I first heard J.D. in the late 1990s, at a solo concert on which he played several reed instruments. I remember being especially stunned by his interpretation of “St. Louis Blues” on bass clarinet. Thinking back now on his sound, I’m reminded of these words:
“In the context of improvised musics that exhibit strong influences from African- American ways of music-making, musical sound—or rather, ‘one’s own sound’—becomes a carrier for history and cultural identity. As Yusef Lateef maintains, ‘The sound of the improvisation seems to tell us what kind of person is improvising. We feel that we can hear character or personality in the way the musician improvises.’”3 —George E. Lewis4

For this album, one place where Jason features J.D. is on “Dreaming,” the middle movement of the suite. Midway into the piece, J.D. interprets a melody that Jason composed to highlight the unique timbre of the alto clarinet, shifting between gradient inflection and incredible precision of pitch with a rich, fluid tone. He then improvises a solo that slowly blooms across multiple registers and propels the band through a kaleidescopic transformation, interacting especially with the dense, rhythmic composite coming from the two drummers. Here as in many other moments on this album, George and Ches are expert alchemists, constantly discovering new ways to mix their two distinct drumset sounds in a dialogue that grounds the band but is always shifting.

In the final section of “Dreaming,” the ensemble navigates a scored section of tempo shifts and dramatic gestures for low brass and reeds. These two effects together make for another historical citation, as specific as the Ellington one: here the reference is to the second movement of Charles Mingus’ album The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady, a landmark recording in the history of long-form suites composed for improvisers.

Hearing this Mingus trace isn’t necessary for enjoying the track’s explosive ending, but the point is that this model of composition always includes such imaginary dialogues, honoring one’s sources in ways that range from explicit to oblique. And the references aren’t always to the distant past—for example, the hocketed texture scored for two tubas and trombone over a churning rhythm section in “Facing West” points towards the work of contemporary composer Henry Threadgill, whose imaginative bands Jason has cited as a formative influence on the instrumentation of the Janus Ensemble. Here again, Jason’s choice of soloist adds to this connection, as this music launches into an otherworldly solo by virtuoso tubist Marcus Rojas, one of several musicians in this band who has played in Threadgill’s ensembles.

This interweaving of personal and collective histories is a reminder of something important about developing one’s “own sound”: you don’t do it alone. This kind of music requires extensive solitary practice and study, but our sounds as improvisers also evolve through infinite reactions and interactions with others, including the musicians we work with and others we know only through records, like the one you are holding now.

This is Jason’s third recording with the Janus Ensemble, which he has been leading in flexible configurations since 2008. All the musicians on this album have been part of the ensemble since then, except for two new additions on this record, the phenomenal reed player Oscar Noriega and myself on trombone. Though I’m new to the Janus ensemble, Jason and I have been close collaborators and friends for about 20 years, working in numerous bands and projects together. We first met when he moved to San Diego for the same reason I did: to study music with George Lewis and Anthony Davis in a graduate program at UC San Diego

Lewis and Davis radically expanded the questions we were asking about music and inspired us in endless ways. They modeled a creative practice that is rigorous in craft, wide open in creative possibility, and always with a thoughtful, complex and individual connection to the world. They encouraged us to develop our own communities and our own music, not just adopt theirs, but they also introduced us, figuratively and literally, to many other artists who would become important inspirations and mentors, including J.D. Parran and Marty Ehrlich, both on this record.

When I first met Jason, he had been playing on various scenes in northern California and had been mentored by the late Mel Graves, a bassist who ran a vibrant and highly original jazz program at Sonoma State University. Jason was immersed in music with typical intensity, having already released an album of his music on his own label while still in his early 20s. He was inquisitive, deep into the saxophone, creating music with darting, angular lines and exuberant grooves. His music had a driving quality, an optimistic, forward momentum, but always with a sense of openness to shifts in direction, whether subtle or extreme.

I still hear that same musical DNA in Jason’s sound, but deepened through two decades of work and expanded to a broader palette through collaborations like this one. This suite is carefully crafted to feature all of the improvisers in both solo and collective contexts while also covering a wide-ranging compositional terrain. Some sections delve deep into texture and sound, either through detailed score notations that exploit the band’s unusual instrumentation, or through improvisations set within imaginative backdrops. Other stretches of music revel in the rich rhythmic and harmonic language of jazz traditions, sometimes recalling the buoyant energies of early big band music and other times with a more abstract lens that evokes later “creative orchestra” explorations. What ties it all together and makes the work a long-form composition rather than just a sequence of varied parts is the dialogue among these different soundworlds, not just between movements but within them; none of the tracks end where they begin, and each travels unpredictably through a different blend of historical references, individual expressions and sonic explorations.

The band you hear on this record is diverse in generation as well as musical backgrounds, and along with those mentioned above, the lineup includes other equally renowned composer-improvisers. Multi-reedist Marty Ehrlich, like J.D. Parran, began his long history of contributions to this music working with musicians from BAG and the AACM in St. Louis during the late 1960s, and over the decades since has created a wide-ranging body of creative work as a composer and collaborator. The versatile bassist and composer Drew Gress has long been one of the most in-demand improvisers on the NYC scene, grounding bands led by an incredible range of contemporary innovators, and the same can be said of acclaimed guitarist and composer Liberty Ellman, another musician here connected to Henry Threadgill, in Liberty’s case through working closely with Threadgill over many years alongside his own projects.

This band encompasses a fascinating cross-section of jazz-inspired contemporary music scenes, broad and difficult to categorize, but one thread running through the Janus Ensemble and Jason’s music is the idea that this wide range of creative expression and method is central to jazz traditions, and always has been. Many people in the jazz industry still seem eager to reinforce old fault lines and put every new record in a particular box, with avant-garde flavors on one side and “traditional” ones on the other. But music like this embodies a more expansive stance, a recognition that a wide spectrum of expressive possibilities is always present to begin with, endlessly woven into new forms by individuals responding to changing contexts. Speaking in Arthur Taylor’s classic 1972 book of musician-to-musician interviews, the great drummer Philly Joe Jones harshly critiques “bag carriers” who superficially imitate the screams of the avant-garde, but he also cites artists like John Coltrane to distinguish experimentalists who are committed to a deep, integrative craft. In response to a question about “freedom music,” Jones deftly deconstructs conventional discursive boundaries by commenting that “everybody’s been playing free. Every time you play a solo you’re free to play what you want to play. That’s freedom right there.”5 I hope you can enjoy this new music by Jason Robinson and the Janus Ensemble in that spirit. Thanks for listening. — Michael Dessen

Works cited
1. Taylor Ho Bynum, “Guest Post: Taylor Ho Bynum on Bill Lowe,” in Destination: Out, Feb. 1, 2012, accessed June 20, 2017 <http://destination-out.com/?p=3384>.
2. Interview with J.D. Parran by Yusef Jones, accessed June 2017: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMYc63l6OMg>.
3. Yusef A. Lateef, “The Pleasures of Voice in Improvised Music,” in Roberta Thelwell, ed., Views on Black American Music: Selected Proceedings from the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Annual Black Musicians’ Conferences, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, No. 3 (1985–1988) pp. 43–46.
4. George E. Lewis, “Too Many Notes: Computers, Complexity and Culture in ‘Voyager,’” Leonardo Music Journal, Vol. 10 (2000), pp. 33-39.
5. Art Taylor. Notes and Tones : Musician-to-Musician Interviews. New York: Da Capo Press, 1993, pp. 47-48.
_______________________________________________________
Resonant Geographies is a meditation on place, memory, relationships, and community. Each movement of the suite is inspired by specific places, a canvas of various experiences and memories for me over a number of years. These are not the sounds of places in a narrow sense, but what is contained here might as well be considered a sounding of those places. A subtle but important distinction. A proportion, a relationship, a scent, a feeling. Like the shifting translucent blues and oranges of a rejuvenating and boundless sunset along the north coast of California, or the warm embraces or knowing glances of friends and loved ones, this project is a process. It continues to unfold. Great heartache, struggle, discovery, and rebirth accompanied/s its long stages. My heart smiles again. I hope that you, the listener, find yourself in the sounds contained here. And I hope we are all guided by compassion and empathy as we sound places, relationships, communities.

This album is dedicated to George Finney Thomason.

I’ve been drawn to the ocean for as long as I can remember. Some of my earliest memories are standing on giant rocks extending into the majestic Pacific some four hours north of San Francisco, while staring with amazement at the spray created by crashing waves, enchanted by the patterns of mussels on rocks, the endless volume of water, the mysterious and beckoning horizon. And the smell—salt, seaweed, richly moist, oxygenated air. I feel at home in this wondrous meeting of water, land, and air. I can still see my great grandfather standing on the bluffs, the rocks, the beaches, and hear his voice as he guides and encourages me to explore. What kind of place is the vast, unimaginably large expanse of the ocean? — Jason Robinson

Deepest thanks to my musical collaborators and friends heard on this recording, whose collaborative spirits and finely tuned personal sound approaches make immeasurable contributions to the music. Thanks also to numerous others who helped make this project possible: Mike Marciano, Rich Breen, Jeff Kaiser, Glenn Siegel, Priscilla Page, Matan Rubinstein, Paul Lichter, Eric Lewis, Jim Staley, Jamie Sandel, and my colleagues at Amherst College. And without the love and support of my closest friends and family, none of this would have been possible. Let’s put this on the turntable, Piccolo. It’s about time!

This recording was made possible by the H. Axel Schupf ’57 Fund for Intellectual Life at Amherst College.

pfMENTUM
PFMCD115
www.pfmentum.com