Spirits Passing Through
NOTES Maybe all we really are is spirit, the spark that draws people to us, the trail we leave behind. The songs on SPIRITS PASSING THROUGH were prompted by the spirits of friends, my father, Uncle Chuck Fisher, and a mysterious Mona Lisa grin, and by the propelling spirits of John Carisi and Wayne Shorter--all breathed into life, spirit into material form, by John Funkhouser (bass), Rich Greenblatt (vibes), and Gary Fieldman (drums), true co-conspirators. The songs on the album are mine, but they opened up and took on new life with the Co-Conspirators. I'd always wanted a band and I've finally got one. After a handful of intense rehearsals and a few gigs, the recording sessions for SPIRITS PASSING THROUGH were big steps on the journey that transforms a few guys playing one guy's songs into a band, something way bigger than the sum of it's parts. The Co-Conspirators can go from spare lyricism to a big hollering galumphing band improv and back again in the space of one song ('Time/Space') or nail a funky New Orleans second-line groove in a song that's really about, well, death ('Beads'). We're playing my songs and my arrangements of other jazz songs I admire, but as the vocalist in the band I have to hold up my end of things. John, Rich, and Gary are great players--much in demand--and leaders of their own bands. They keep me on my toes. --Steve Thomas BIO Steve Thomas is a composer-lyricist, vocalist, percussionist, and performance artist based in Somerville, MA. He released his latest CD of original jazz songs, SPIRITS PASSING THROUGH by Steve Thomas and the Co-Conspirators, on his Not Two Five Records in the fall of 2006. His first CD of original songs, GOT THE MAP, vocal/piano duets with pianist Ben Schwendener, was released on Gravity Records in 2002. He's performed with his band, the Co-Conspirators (John Funkhouser, bass; Rich Greenblatt, vibes; Gary Fieldman, drums), Too Tall Trees (a vocal/bass duo with John Funkhouser), with the trios of pianists Mollly Flannery and Mark Shilansky, and pianist Ben Schwendener at the Acton Jazz Cafe, Zeitgeist Gallery, Rutman's Violins, McIntyre and Moore Booksellers, and the odd house concert; with the Cambridge-based Brazilian percussion ensemble Samba Tremeterra (Cambridge River Festival and numerous parades and private functions); in the Get Up choir with pop/rock singer-songwriter Bleu (Boston Music Awards at the Wang Center, the Hatch Shell, and rock clubs the Paradise, the Middle East, and T.T. The Bear's Place). He's also had a parallel career as a performance artist, developing solo and collaborative pieces that combine a cappella singing, talking, and movement, with performances at Mobius, Wellesley and Middlebury Colleges, and other venues in Boston and northern Vermont. He received a Somerville Arts Council grant for his hour-long solo piece RECLAMATION PROJECT. He's studied theory and composition with Ben Schwendener, jazz voice with Dominique Eade, and Brazilian percussion with Jose Ricardo de Souza and Deraldo Ferreira.