The first release from the new project, the Oddyssey Quartet, featuring music inspired by and dedicated to the memory of Albert Ayler. The music consists of the group's free spirited reading of seven new compositions, including a focus on improvisations inspired by the written themes. The music is also meant to be an instrumental narrative of a sci-fi story of the destruction of Earth and the colonization of a new planet.
David Pate - horns
Bill Folwell - double and electric basses, trumpet
Jose Cochez - drums and percussion
Rex Shepherd - guitar, compositions
This is the latest set of solo music recorded over the past two years and featuring four new compositions - "One for Cecil," for my father who I never met, "49" for the age I was when I wrote it, and my ode to the current state of the nation, "A Ballad for Those with a Sense of Impending Doom," and "Poison Ivy," a tune about toxicity of any type. The rest of the music is improvised but mostly is based on themes I heard in my head prior to sitting down with my guitar.
Except for the improvisations "Etude #2" and "April 9th," this release features compositions of mine that have existed anywhere from 15 years, in the case of "In the Shade," to just two days before being recorded like "Happy Little Trees." I preferred to keep the imperfections so that these takes more closely resemble the music that one might hear if John and I were playing the tunes live, where boundaries are pushed and the music flows moment by moment. When challenged with making music I am buoyed by a quote from my musical hero, the great Jim Hall, "The instrument keeps me humble. Sometimes I pick it up and it seems to say, "No, you can't play today." I keep at it anyway, though."
This recent recording features a set of improvised tunes that were arrived at after John and I conducted our usual pre-roll discussions about the state of current affairs in the U.S. Being fortunate enough to have two voices with which to speak out against what I see as injustice, inequality, and hatred, I felt that releasing this music, even if not listened to by many, would at least add to the spirit and energy of the peaceful movement for change taking place currently.
This is a set of improvised solo pieces using a combination of straight and prepared guitar, Theremin, and effects. The tunes are titled after principles and concepts that reach into that place, the drop, from which my music and all good things come.