Patti Littlefield | Mark Weaver | Resonance | Plutonium Records

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Patti Littlefield – voice, percussion | Mark Weaver – tuba, trombone, didgeridoo, porchboard, percussion | Lewis Winn – guitar (on tracks 6 and 8) | Cal Haines – drums, percussion (on tracks 6 and 8)

Tracks 1-5, 7, 9, recorded and mixed by Michael Grimes / King of 8 Studios, Albuquerque NM, Jan / Feb 2008. Tracks 6, 8 recorded by Stephen Schmidt / Fly on the Wall Productions? in performance at the Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque NM, July 2008, mixed by Simon Welter. Track 1 “You’re my thrill” includes an untitled poem by Patti Littlefield. CD mastering by Wayne Peet / Killzone Music, Los Angeles CA. Artwork, Design, Poem by JB Bryan / La Alameda Press.

Tracklist: 1. YOU’RE MY THRILL (CLARE / GORNEY) / 3:19 2. SMALL DAY TOMORROW (LANDESMAN / DOROUGH) / 5:01 3. A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED (WEAVER) (ASCAP) / 7:11 4. FOOTPRINTS (FERRO / SHORTER) 14:36 5. PERFECT BLUES (LITTLEFIELD / JOHNSON) (BMI) / 4:02 6. HOUSE OF THE RISING SUN (TRADITIONAL) / 6:54 7. CARAVAN (MILLS / TIZOL / ELLINGTON) /4:42 8. ODE TO BlLLIE JOE (GENTRY) /6:30 9. JITTERBUG WALTZ (WALLER) / 2:47 TOTAL TIME: 45:04

hoho seifu wo okosu / fresh breeze rises up with every step

JAPANESE TEA APHORISM

bottom of an ocean, becomes a valley, volcanic ash, uplift & again mountaintop built of little shells, columbine & bunchgrass & meadow flow to watercress, a turtle back, a squeak, a grave, whose juice, this blood? something rises up through our feet, million-year-old vibrations only now crest in their curve, tectonic, molten, metamorphic.pick this up only by attunement. Earth, just the facts mam, to become once again residents of whatever place we happen to be. local watersheds, bioregions, ecosystems—dwelling in relationship not to some abstract idea but to the living web. of life exist within, very real down-to-it, down to rocks & soil beneath, the critters that live everywhere around, & under & hidden, the way the sun heats the rocks, the sounds of cranes or crows flying overhead, how plants turn toward the sun or thrive in shade, smell & feel how the rainstorm approaches, how things change as night falls, as dawn breaks, what moves, what flows? walk in the desert at night with no moon, just stars, the vastness of being a drop in the Milky Way. walk as anciently as possible, as those before have for thousands upon thousands of years, walk amongst with as little pre-conceptions as possible, feed your senses, breathe air while you can. Self & Other, no other, that moment of nothing, but beneath a tree, just sitting perhaps, thoughts observed as only thoughts, or zoned perhaps, & then, suddenly, seeing out of the corner of eye, not even quite sure what was longed for in the first place, yet here & now. felt with every sense, something rises up through our feet that makes complete utter sense, maybe a word comes forth or a rhythm or a whistle & hum, a dance, because we are what we do, & make, which help make us in return, new work out of old resonance, Picasso said “it’s all research.” —-JB Bryan

patti littlefield | mark weaver | resonance | plutonium records 006

It’s amazing

just how much music you can make with a human voice and a tuba (or didgeridoo) and a couple of simple percussion instruments. Vocalist Patti Littlefield and tubaist/didgeridooist Mark Weaver deliver fearlessly original takes on standards, as well as some startlingly original compositions. The performances carry the archness of cabaret, the edginess of new music, and the grit of the roadhouse. Littlefield’s versatile voice has an inherently theatrical quality that compels your attention, and Weaver finds fresh, swinging, remarkably supple bass lines. Together, they dance out on several limbs and have a blast jumping up and down to see if the limb holds. It does—in fact, it gets into the act, bouncing them into exciting new territory. There’s the seductive tango of “You’re My Thrill” (complete with racy interlude), the noir swing of “Small Day Tomorrow,” the sound collage of the Weaver original “A Grain of Mustard Seed,” Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” with spacey lyrics by Mike Ferro, Littlefield’s depiction of her near-disappearance in “Perfect Blues,” “Caravan” with Littlefield as horn, and an airy, smile-inducing “Jitterbug Waltz.” Also included are two hair-raising live tracks—“House of the Rising Sun” and “Ode to Billie Joe”—recorded at the Outpost Performance Space (Albuquerque NM) in the summer of 2008, as the quartet Woof! with Lewis Winn (guitar) and Cal Haines (drums). —Mel Minter (12-11-08 CDbaby.com)

patti littlefield | mark weaver | resonance | plutonium records 006

Resonance

certainly stands out from the glut of singer sessions. First off there’s the instrumentation: vocalist Patti Littlefield and tuba player Mark Weaver for the most part, though Weaver mixes in some didgeridoo. Then there’s the unusual choice of tunes ranging from adventurous originals to standards with some Blues and Country mixed in. But what most sets this apart is the quality of the work. Littlefield is a self-assured vocalist who brings the voice of each song to life. She establishes this from the start. She endows “You’re My Thrill” with a dangerous, sensual edge and then takes it further by interpolating a stanza of erotic poetry in the middle. Each song is a dramatic set piece. She gives the familiar tunes, such as “Caravan,” new twists, yet remains true to their emotional cores. Littlefield carries this off without strain. She’s so natural the listeners will be ready to run off with her when they hear “Small Day Tomorrow,” and sympathize with her psychological woes on her original, “Perfect Blues.” The spare accompaniment of Weaver’s horn only heightens the drama. He provides a resonant grounding. And his didgeridoo playing is more than the usual novelty. It adds an exotic touch that complements the New Age lyrics of “Footprints” and conjures an eerie atmosphere that helps revive “House of the Rising Sun” after so many raucous Blues-Rock renditions. The duo ends with a playful and lightly dancing “Jitterbug Waltz” that puts the exclamation point on this noteworthy session. —David Dupont (Cadence Magazine Oct 2009, p.219)

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