Wednesday, July 11, 2012

I think I've done enough damage.

Well, after a marathon session last night--which lasted until 3am--I now have the makings of a new album.

In my last post, I said that I was going to record three more pieces after the Mahavishnu-ish thing I was working on then.  Scratch that.  I recorded one more (that groove thing I talked about), but it's a rather long one that completes the album nicely.  I've more or less run out of time and energy to do any more.  I'm spent.

Anyway, a lengthy free-jazz freakout jam would not fit well on this album, and I already have a short free-jazz piano piece that serves as a nice tribute to the late Sam Rivers.  I'll talk more about Sam and my love for his music later.

The other thing I was going to do was to refurbish and upgrade "Funkoverture," which I recorded in 2009 but never placed on an album.  You can read about that piece and listen it to it in this blog post.  Unfortunately, I seem not to have saved the multi-track files for it, so it forever is what it is.  The existing version simply doesn't fit in sonically with the album, so it'll have to stay in the odds and ends bin for now.

I've still got to do some final tweaking, proper mixdown and the artwork.  I'm going to have this sucker pressed up into CDs and sell it on CD Baby, since I'm so happy with the way it turned out.  The album is called Fire Goddess, and I will make a dodgy YouTube clip for the lead-off track before I have the album for sale.  It's that Mahavishnu-ish piece, and now I can start referring to it by its real title, "Kiss of the Fire Goddess."

I'll post more about the album shortly.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

This album is going to kill me

This album I'm working on is beating the crap out of me.  I'm working on the fourth piece, which is a Mahavishnu-like thing, and the mental effort needed to process it all in a short amount of time is wearing me out.  I think it will be worth the effort, though.  It's a piece I've had in mind for several years, and I just couldn't wait any longer to do it.

My initial thought in putting together an album before the birth of my son was to just do some quickie free jazz thing, but I'm just not feeling that at the moment.  Instead, I've embarked on an experiment to see if I can make a genuine fusion album in a month's time.  So far, it's working.  I've got three finished pieces and should finish the Mahavishnu-ish thing today.  That leaves me about two weeks until the baby's due date to complete the three other pieces I have in mind.

It should be downhill from here, though. I want to do a long groove piece, a free jazz tribute to the late Sam Rivers, and re-record most of the parts to an overture thing I've had sitting around on my hard drive for several years.  That's your album, right there.  None of those songs should require the type of intense effort I've had to give to the ones I've done so far.

It's mainly my high level of satisfaction at the work done so far that keeps me going at this point.

Here's a picture of my ramshackle, half-unpacked studio, in case you're interested.


Monday, June 25, 2012

Looming Deadlines

Well, now that I haven't updated in a year, and everything I wrote about in my last post in March 2011 is still uncompleted, perhaps I should restart the blog and try to make something of it all.

Musically, I haven't done very much at all in the last year.  Procrastination will always be my enemy.

Last November, we found out that my wife is pregnant with our child, who will be born in late July.  That's less than a month from now, isn't it?  Yikes.

After we found out, I developed grandiose plans to record either (a) my "White Album", a two-disc effort that would blow up the world with its awesomeness, or (b) at least two separate jazz projects, before the baby is born.  Alas, none of that is happening due to procrastination and life getting in the way.

Instead, in the last month I have of unrestrained musical time, I am now recording a humble fusion jazz effort that I can probably finish before the Big Day.  So far, I have one eight-minute jamming "Spectrum"-ish track full of flailing drums, screaming guitars, wild electronic tenor sax, and synthy weirdness, as well as another track of nightmarish Cecil Taylor-style piano stuff.

The next piece I'm mulling over seems to be veering somewhere between Led Zeppelin, PFunk, and Santana, depending on how the little guitar figure I'm working on changes from hour to hour.  I have no idea what it will end up being.  Probably nothing like any of those things.

In fact, that's the operative theme for this entire album:  "I have no idea."  It's too late to plan things out carefully and write intricately crafted music.  I'm just sitting down at the keyboard and nooding away until shit starts happening.  Fortunately, it seems to be.  I'm already very happy with where this album is going.  It'll probably end up sounding like a cross between Human Element and The February Project, since I'm using creative processes from both those albums simultaneously.

If you haven't checked out my music yet, including those two albums, please do so at

I promise to make this blog something other than a dead zone.  We'll see if I can keep that promise.