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JSngry

Summusic - My Trio's Soundcloud (NEW ADDITIONS 4/12)

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As a few of you know, I decided a few months ago to get back into playing original music on an ongoing basis. The result is a trio, Summusic, consisting of myself, Carl Hillman on bass, and Andrew Griffith on drums. We've been rehearsing bi-monthly since August.

I've recorded almost everything on my cell phone, and have just posted a few takes on Soundcloud, which I'd like to share on a semi-ongoing basis.

A few caveats/comments:

  • These are rehearsals, not finished products. Roughness in performance and recording in abundantly present. Rehearsals of new materials and cellphone recordings, ok?
  • Although live performances are part of the object of this game, a commercial recording probably isn't. So there probably never will be a "finished product" on any of this stuff, just perpetual works in progress. At this point, yeah, we're giving it away. Help yourself!
  • Works in progress they are, I'm learning them almost as the band does. Not playing original/creative music for these last few years means, among other things, some things were written and then set aside w/o ever being played, or even better, written and taken straight to rehearsal.
  • Our aim is to be an improvisational unit, to take the material as a starting point, not as an end unto itself. Don't want to be a "blowing" band, plenty of that already, more interested in improvising on themes and creating fluid yet definite structures. That's gonna take time, but time we got, at this point, anyway.
  • Don't call it jazz. Not these days. Please.
  • We're working on playing everything as a continuous set, an ongoing macro-composition. Consider these as initial looks at three of the individual "movements" of that macro-composition.
  • There's more pieces than these, but these are the three recordings I've lived with long enough to share. Even though they're rough, early, and raw, I think they're rooted in the right place as group performances to take further.
  • If there is objection on the grounds that hey, you can't just stop playing, walk away from it, actually come to distrust it, and come back again some years later and expect people to take you seriously, hey, I'm right there with you. But not doing this at this time just wasn't an option, and that's what I'm taking even more seriously than the self-doubt. Go figure.
  • More to come to the Soundcloud site as things develop if/and I feel relevant enough to share.
  • Hope that some of you like at least some of it.

https://soundcloud.com/summusic-3

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Thanks! This trio makes it easy to want to stay back, they really do.

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Hey that's very cool. The only JSngry I had was that LP with Dennis Gonzalez. Thanks for sharing.

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Gave it a quick listen but someone came and knocked at the door and I had to go answer.

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Congrats, Jim! I'm looking forward to listening. As to what to call it, I suggest something I read in a blog recently: "technical Japanese death metal."

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Privately, can I call it what I wanna?

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beyond decription, perhaps?

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Thanks to all who have listened. There will be more things coming, will post here when they're up. Hope that they will be of interest.

As for what to call it, the overall group direction...temporarily going with Compositional Improvisations From The Aftermath Of Jazz...that's about as accurate, geeky, and non-narrative-setting as I can get, especially with the geeky part. :) But...it is accurate. Looking to improvise, always, but also, always, looking for the composition.

Also, a reminder that everything is - and will be - downloadable, free. Help yourself to what you want, guilt-free. I did the math and if we're going to make any money at all off of this band (unlikely), it's going to be from playing live. And if we're not going to make any money (hello, cashing the reality check), hell, we all got cell phones, right? If we got nothing else, we got cell phones. This is also keeping with the improvisational element - not looking for "permanent" versions of these works (can't stress that enough), simply looking to keep the dissemination of this music fluid, relevant, local in origin, and universal-ish in availability. Again, we all got cell phones.

Not saying that we don't want to make money from this music, if that opportunity comes into focus, hell yeah, we'll make that money. But right now, this is the model. Might stay that way forever, might not. But the goal is - and will always be - to keep making the music as long as it's there and to keep having it heard for as long as it's being made.

Ok, thanks again. Somebody's at the door.

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Musical categorization checklist:

1. Is there a vocalist?

2. If yes to 1, are the vocals in English?

3. If yes to 2, it is Pop Music.

4. If no to 2, it is World Music.

5. If no to 1, do the musicians wear suits and play in impressive concert halls built by their city or large charitable foundation?

6. If yes to 5, it is classical music

7. If no to 5, do the musicians speak one or more languages other than English?

8. If yes to 7, it is World Music.

9. If no to 7, it is Jazz.

.

Edited by kh1958

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Two new tunes up, both of which safely can be called jazz.

  1. "CHOWHOUND!!!" - an affectionate name bestowed up me my my dad when I'd come back home and start eating mom's cooking. This too is a straight ahead run-through of a theme that certainly stand on it's own, with its own groove, but is also used for compositional improvisations, as with the already posted "Kung Pao Hound!!!" Fans of Cannonball's more open late 60s pieces might spot the original inspiration for the groove here.
  2. "Ambien Graves Of Wayne" - the theme used for any and all "Ambien Variations" pieces. Here it is in an early, straight ahead, swinging run-through, made prior to getting into the Variations. Andrew & Carl are eating it up!

https://soundcloud.com/summusic-3

Enjoy!

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It's just been pointed out to me that I failed to make these two new postings downloadable. That has now been fixed.

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Four new, free, lo-fi downloadable cell phone recordings from a Plano living room have been added here https://soundcloud.com/summusic-3

  1. Hey Joe (Where Ya' Goin' With That Book In Your Hand) - An improvisation inspired by some of the characters in Joe Milazzo's recent novel Crepuscule With Nellie. Inspired writing proved to inspire some playing! Joe's book is not in any way an easy read, but damn, it's a good one.
  2. Goin' Inta' TOWN In Tha' Morenin' - Originally made famous by Pee Pie Patty and The Pot Pie Plenty on their hit album "Five'll Get Ya' Ten (and Ten'll Get Ya' Twenty)..at least that's what I wrote on the lead sheet. The song was written with - and still has - lyrics, and also has a still-evolving mythology revolving around a supernaturally-inclined deep-(farthest)backwoods people who only take their children into town once in their lifetime, so it's a big deal for everybody.
  3. MAOHOUND!!! - Another compositional improvisation on the "CHOWHOUND" theme. Sometimes we play the tune "as is", sometimes we use it as a reference point for group improv. The latter is the case here. I really like improvising on a theme rather than a "song", there's so many ways to look at it that way, intervals, rhythmic motifs, harmonic pivots, all that "technical" stuff that nobody cares about.
  4. Dance Hippiechick, DANCE!!! - This one goes waaaay back to Quartet Out, but it was never commercially recorded, and besides, you know how long-lived bands can get, certain tunes become "functional" in terms of purpose, set placement, etc. Back then, it was written and performed as kind of a tongue-in-cheek (in terms of title, anyway) "Jimmy Giuffre Meets Charles Lloyd On Chico Hamilton's Bandstand" kind of "relief from the intensity" thing, and more or less stayed there, although with QO, things always ended up getting frisky in spite of intent. But I wanted to revisit the essential concept with this trio, and see if we couldn't open it up/out a little more, and I think we're doing that. I've given the responsibility for setting the mood and time to Carl with an opening solo that he can do with as he pleases. This time, he stuck his bow in his strings and started making kinda like Ysabel's Belly Dance or something, which was a complete surprise, but also allowed for a really good zone to subsequently develop. Him & Andrew are both a perpetual joy to play with, open minds, infinite patience, and an enthusiasm for playing music as music and not as a gig. That is too freakin' scarce around these parts, believe me.

As a side note, for the 3.01 date, we were between snowstorms, and on the 3.31 date, I had the AC on. Life in the Texas weather, gotta love it. Or at least deal with it.

Thanks in advance to anybody who takes the time to listen/download/conversate, etc. The recordings are lo-fi indeed, but I think the music is worth at least twice what I'm asking you to pay for it. :)

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Any live appearances on the horizon?

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Actually, yes...Joe's having a book reading on June 15th and we will be performing along with him.

It's Joe's gig, so it's his to properly announce as far as details and such.

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