Connie Crothers, piano | Richard Tabnik, alto saxophone | Roger Mancuso, drums | Ken Filiano, bass | Mark Weber, poems
Recorded at The Stone, Corner of Avenue C and East 2nd Street, New York City, September 26, 2009. Cover photograph – Mark Weber. Band photographs – Scott Friedlander. Band painting – Jeff Schlanger. CD design – JB Bryan. Recording engineer – Ben Manley at Systems Two, Brooklyn. Mixing engineer – Joe Marciano. Mastering – Max Ross
Tracklist: 1. You Walk Purposefully 2. There Are Two Worlds 3. Finally You Have 4. Softly Morning 5. From Odyssey 6. On Breathing Down the Spine 7. Turtle Night 8. No Other Better Place 9. But It Could Be 10. 10:45 at The Stone 11. Reluctance 12. Ontology
It was autumn. In New York.
Warm days and chilly nights. The Lower East Side. Down at the Stone, where did Connie’s band find that amazing chord for that Sanskrit chant? Wow.
We created the arrangements the day before at rehearsal but this chord has grown overnight. Transcendent. The ancient words speak to the blessings of plenitude and how everything is perfect just as it is. How plenitude arises again and again from plenitude, the universe complete in its perfection. Om, purnamadah.
Every year Connie and I try to do something together. Either a public performance or a recording session, or just have lunch. This year Connie scored a gig at the Stone on the Lower East Side and asked me if I’d like to join her quartet for the second set. Long ago I told Connie: Anytime, anyplace. Just say the word and I’ll be there. Autumn in New York City! I fly out from Albuquerque. My wife has two sisters that live in the same building as the West End Cafe where I’m welcome to crash. This gig was part of a 2-weeks series Connie was asked to book at the Stone. (See my report @ metropolis.free-jazz.net)
Other things you need to know about this recording: Most of the arrangements were by Connie but there was a lot of input from all sides, for example, it was Ken who suggested that I repeat the last line of the last poem over and over. Track 5 is a double-poem sequence from my fanciful re-telling of Homer’s ODYSSEY – this track is strictly NOT for RADIO AIRPLAY – be forewarned.
In all other ways Connie’s Quartet is so connected to my poetry it’s like we think as one. And indeed, Connie wanted me to be sure and stress that these arrangements “were just loose sketches, that most of what you are hearing is spontaneously improvised, right in the instant.” — Mark Weber 20july10
Life is nothing you want to waste,
We all want leaningfulness and joy and love,
You go to a museum for truth & beauty
and reassurance of our humanity
to connect with the past and to feel
something for the future.
The same goes for concerts,
You brave the elements, the highways and subways, the gamble
and it’s only fair that the musicians
that they breach the chasm
a connection into our shared humanity.
CD version (incl. shipment cost world-wide)