Teaser is based on the
form and most of the harmony
from Star Eyes, an
old (1943) popular standard. The melody
based on something I
improvised while trying to
imagine playing over
Star Eyes changes in 7/4 time.
The Wishing Song is something I wrote in 1991 but never recorded on an album
my own until now.
Song of the Underground Work Song is named thus because the
form folds into
the tune begins as it ends, so
means “remote” or “distant” in Portuguese, much like
the guitar’s answers to the
flugelhorn’s questions in the musical
dialogue that is the melody.
Riff One is based on a
pattern I stumbled across while practicing and is set against several seeming contradictory rhythms played by
the rest of the
Roweena is based on the 12-bar blues and uses serial
techniques that aren’t readily apparent. The bass starts the piece
a twelve-tone row, the
guitar plays on top of it
a different twelve-tone row, the trumpet enters and plays three different twelve- tone rows which are
plays yet another
group of three twelve- tone rows. I
would often introduce this tune on gigs as “Thelonius Monk and Arnold
Schoenberg Go Drinking.”
Courting Disaster uses the same bass line (the
four beginning notes played by
throughout under a slightly risky melody, all in 5/4 time.
Out of Towner gets its inspiration from American guitarist and composer Ralph Towner.
Let Go is dedicated to Marianne Collins Kase,
who finally let
I’ve taken literally hundreds of Puddle Jumper flights over the years. The
based entirely on the
melodic minor scale.
The leaping bass line and melody also made me
think of a kid jumping puddles on the sidewalk.
The last tune is For Ken
Wheeler who was
both an inspiration and a
friend to me,
and was improvised on the
flugelhorn a week
so before the
recording session. I put chords to it and transcribed it for the band. This recorded version is the first time
we had ever played it.