A fresh new concept album based on contrasting personalities and approaches to free jazz. One is clean, tidy, polite and humble while the other is aggressive, bold, raw, risky and wild. Each track is based on reflecting scenes called out by Adam Nolan before the take.
Some of my influences leading up to this recording session included Ornette Coleman, Kaoru Abe, Anthony Braxton, Kenny Garrett, Bobby Watson and Sam Rivers.
1: This first track I really wanted to bring elements of Elvin Jones's swing feel with Ron Carters urban sound whilst breaking out of a set tempo and creating a new version of that 60's sound. I feel we took it beyond the original idea and stretched the music out to new levels of expression.
2: Inspired by modern trios and that room sound recording free jazz. I remember I was watching some cool bands online including Michaël Attias New York Trio 'Renku' and it did inspire me. I also was watching the German double bassist Peter Kowald Chicago free jazz documentary which featured some of my favourites including the great saxophonist Fred Albert who inspired my previous album 'The Great Conjunction'
3: Coming up to the recording session Stan Getz kept coming to my mind, however I didn't listen to him as I was listening to other styles at the time. When it was time to record this track I decided to bring elements of latin jazz into this piece but with a complete new contemporary edge. I explained this to the guys and Derek Whyte expressed haunting contemporary harmony while Dominic played in a bossa inspired style. One of my favourites!
4: I have always been fascinated by the Mayans and the tropical jungles of the ancient world. Didn't I notice in the recording session that there was a mayan art rug used to dampen the drums sounds. This was something I had to incorporate into this track. I really like to use what's in an environment to create/express scenes. One of my favourite movies is also Mel Gibson 'Apocalypto' which really gave me great visual images of hunt scenes in the jungle as was in my teenage years.
5: Visualising the three of us in a desert. Thirsty and dying for a drink of cold water we spot a magic carpet flying past in the air realising if we can somehow catch and tame it we can save ourselves and find an oasis sanctuary.
6: Looking for something to really define the whole album concept this scene came to my mind just before we decided to record the final track.
The Kung Fu Master Vs The Ape in a smoking area and they are the same strength! Just so it's an even fight! This scene really expresses the wild raw power of an ape along with a Kung fu masters precision, awareness and discipline complimented by the rustle and tumbles of a smoking area along with a bewildered crowd experiencing this bizarre scenario.
This scene based visualisations will become more a norm in my future albums and live performances. This was a really great day.
1. Expand the Tempo
2. The Modern Jazz Trio
3. Latin Jazz?
4. Ancient Mayan Jungle
5. The Magic Carpet
6. Kung Fu Master Vs The Ape (in a smoking area)
Adam Nolan - Alto Saxophone
Derek Whyte - Bass
Dominic Mullan - Drums
Release date: 19th August 2021