Recorded: May 8 and 20 2009 at Free to Santa Fe Soundworks in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA. David Cragin: recording engineer. Produced by: John Rangel. Graphics/packaging design by: Cal Haines and Victoria Rogers
Tracklist: 1.Count Me In – Lewis Winn 2. So Near, So Far – Tony Crombie/Benny Green and lyrics by Joe Gilman — featuring John Proulx on vocals 3. Middle Side Topwise – Michael Glynn 4. Blues On The Corner – McCoy Tyner — featuring John Rangel on piano 5. Embraceable You – George/Ira Gershwin — featuring John Proulx on vocals 6. In Your Own Sweet Way – Dave Brubreck 7. Segment – Charlie Parker — featuring John Proulx on vocals 8. Infant Eyes – Wayne Shorter 9. Piñon – Lewis Winn 10. What Is This Thing Called Love – Cole Porter – featuring John Proulx on vocals 11. The Bright Side – Michael Glynn
Finalist in 4 categories for 2010 New Mexico Music Awards
The Bright Side won Best Vocal Performance. “What Is This Thing Called Love?” – the awardwinning cut – is a drum and vocal duet with Cal Haines and John Proulx. The songlist was chosen by producer and performing drummer Cal Haines for the rhythmic elements as much as melody. Original compositions by guitarist Lewis Winn and composer finalist (and master bassist) Michael Glynn include Glynn’s title cut, “The Bright Side”. The all-New Mexico talent (including producer John Rangel – also awardwinning) was joined by John Proulx of L.A. John’s CDs on the MAXJAZZ label feature him as a pianist and singer, and The Bright Side is his only recording where he just brings vocals. His scatting through several tunes and the sweetness of Winn’s strings with Proulx’s intonation on “Embraceable You” caps off the gems in this recording.
In 2005, Lewis Winn composed “Count Me In”
after seeing a Basie band video. The fast-moving line that has him and Michael playing like a horn section pays homage to the swinging sound. There is an unusual element similar to a shout chorus where guitar and drums “solo” together, launching the remaining guitar solo. “So Near, So Far” had to be on my first CD because I tried but couldn’t get any band I’m in to play the tune. The guitar counter-melody is a joyous line against which to play the afro-cuban 12/8 rhythm, and the Joe Gilman lyrics gave new interpretations to the meaning of the title. Michael’s 2008 “Middle Side Topwise” uses the changes to a familiar standard as a vehicle for the bass and borrows a quote from the Simpsons for the title.
“Blues On The Corner” features the “torrential” playing of John Rangel. After the first take with just the trio, John was antsy to switch from his producer role and willingly slid over to the piano for some smokin’ soloing. In “Embraceable You”, bringing John Proulx’s non-vibrato styling together with Lewis’s sweet guitar voice opened a magic space for cymbal color. Originally written in 4/4 time, the trio plays “In Your Own Sweet Way” in 3/4 for a twist that displays the special way these musicians speak with one another. The tune “Segment” shows off the scatting gift of Mr. Proulx. His vocal sound blends like an instrument with the guitar on this Parker head.
Michael’s sensitive arco playing on “Infant Eyes” is a haunting rendition of this deeply emotional melody by Wayne Shorter. “Piñon” was written by Lewis in 1984, making it his first composition after moving to New Mexico. Often performed, occasionally captured live but until now never recorded in the studio, this composition’s syncopated rhythm came back to me from knowing Lewis then and I wanted it on my CD. The next tune pairs only John Proulx and me on Cole Porter’s “What Is This Thing Called Love”. John sings the lyrics and scats, trading 4s with the drums to make this fun version. “The Bright Side”, the final cut that became the name of the CD, was written in 2007 by Michael. He wanted to change the kind of tunes he’d been writing to something happier. The feeling of the melody fits with creating this project and my life at this time, and the symbol of the gleaming cymbal on the cover expresses that message. — Cal Haines
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)
MP3 version (83.59MB zip download)