Seekin' & Speakin'
Yea, It's Like That - is a tune that at times sounds like other tunes, but maintains it's own personality. It is a swinger and a lot of fun to play. It features our drummer, Alan Tarpinian. Alan is the newest member of the group and I am very happy to have met him. His swinging, sensitive style has added something intangible to the group and to the music. He is also a very funny man. It is my custom to write tunes for the people I feel close to, and like any relationship, it takes time. As yet I haven't written a tune specifically for Alan, but until I do I dedicate this one to him. Coppin' the Jug - is a little blues inspired by my favorite tenor player, Gene (Jug) Ammons. When I was coming up Jug was one of the first cats I caught live and his swinging, unaffected style is one that I have tried to embody here (and elsewhere). The Rain Suite - is comprised of three separate songs that segue from one to the next. The tune is written for my home of the last 15 years, Portland, Oregon, and it is my hope that anyone who resides in Portland will feel and identify with each section. This suite features Alan Tarpinian on rain stick. The first segment is named Minor Mist and is a very slow blues. This mournful rain, accompanied by characteristic gray skies occurs about nine months per year in Portland. The second is called Deluge and is an up-tempo, modal affair representing another style of precipitation common to Portland. The final segment is entitled Warm Winds, and attempts to convey the calm after the storm, which is a beautiful, comforting feeling in Portland. Seekin' and Speakin' - is the title track and is written for lost souls trying to find their way in the life. We have a little gospel feeling going on here and this is my first attempt at penning a lyric. Again Gene Ammons comes to mind. In a moment of inspiration I awoke at 3:00 am and wrote these lyrics in about an hour. Never before had any idea flowed from my mind with such ease. The tune is presented here in two forms; as an instrumental and an a cappella vocal. The band, however reluctantly, sang at my request. My beautiful 10 year-old daughter Emi can be heard on the vocal. She approached the task with great alacrity. My good friend Jeanne Kennedy-Crosby, an aspiring bassist and loyal supporter of the band for many years is also heard here on vocal. Doug, an intern at the studio also joined in the merriment. Awake in a Dream - a ballad, beautiful in it's simplicity. Only the melody is stated here because we find it hard to say anything prettier than the melody itself. This is what love sounds like to me. Giri-Giri - is one of two tunes on this outing that were previously recorded on Around and Back, and sport new arrangements. The title is a Japanese idiom meaning, to rush to get somewhere and barely make it on time. Confabulation - which means to conjure false memories, (one who does so is generally thought to be insane) is an upbeat bebop theme featuring bass and tenor on the melody, and written for our bassist, Dave Speranza. Dave has a hard-driving feel reminiscent of Paul Chambers, Sam Jones and Ray Brown. Dave works hard and is becoming very well known on the local scene. I feel very fortunate to have been working with him and to watch him evolve. I look forward to more of the same. The Pearl - is the second tune that was previously recorded. It's former state was a dark, mysterious ballad and it has been rearranged here in ¾. It is a waltz groove, but not exactly of the Viennese variety. The tune was written for my good friend and mentor, trumpeter Merle (the Pearl) Boley. Merle is gone now, but I like to think he would dig the tune in either arrangement. Bones About It - is a minor blues vehicle and is written in appreciation and gratitude for my good friend and co-leader, Dave Bones. Bones and I have developed a great musical relationship over the years and he has always been a significant force in the quintet with both his playing and concept. Everyone gets a chance to stretch out a little here. Please One - is a ballad that I wrote many years ago and we have reworked it here. When I first brought it out, Dave liked it so we decided to feature him on the "a" section and the horns state the bridge melody. Does it seem that I have neglected to write anything for Sam? No, not at all. There just didn't seem to be room on this recording for more. This entire recording is dedicated with love and appreciation to Sam in hopes that he will go on to make more on his own. Maybe someday he will feature me. I have written a few songs for Sam, but none are presented here. Unusual Blues for Boy was on Around and Back and at least one more will be on the next recording. Sam, and his sister Emi, are my greatest inspiration in music and in life. I am extremely proud of Sam's accomplishments and his growth as a quality person and musician. I am blessed to be able to play this music that I love with my son that I love. Thanks, Sam for being who you are. Who could ask for anything more? I feel the deepest gratitude for the musicians here. All have been helpful, supportive and patient with me in the production of this recording. May the good vibes continue indefinitely. I hope the listener can sense the spirit of this session.