Note: I've included the file with the plain version of the artwork if anyone wants it. It's also cc-by-nc, although I do not know how to officially note this other than saying "you may use it (under the rules of the license) if you'd like!"
- - - -
The piano in this album was mainly recorded January 3rd, 2017 (thanks, Mantoans!) as part of two extended improvisations based both on music on the spot, and then some small themes from the past that I was revisiting*
*(With the exception of the main thematic material track three, an improvisation on Summertime, music composed in 1934 by George Gershwin).
Shortly after, perhaps even that day, I added some drum set/percussion to a few of the tracks. I'd tried adding bass and a bit of saxophone, but I ended up finding that the piano had filled up a lot of space and the bass really got in the way, I thought. Therefore, I have kept this album rather sparse apart from the piano. I found the sound of the instrument to be beautiful, and used just one AT-4053 mic (thanks to my wonderful friend for lending me the mics, if they're reading this!) on the grand piano. The room, itself, added so much character to the recording. I've recorded a few tracks that are on previous albums on this site (Jazz Vol. 1 & 2 each have one, recorded in 2003 and, I believe, 2005, respectively) from that room, but did not have near as good of a way of capturing it as I do, now. Even back then, though, it sounded great. I would like to thank Laura Mantoan for letting me stop by to record on it, and hopefully we can work out a possible 2nd session this year! It was great to catch up on how things were going, and I always appreciate how much your family is supportive of the arts.
- - - -
*The artwork is a painting of mine with some added digital enhancement (a slightly shiny overlay to bring out the sparkling of the glitter, mainly, along with a slight adjustment in the overall brightness) and the text overlay. I'm very happy with how the art goes with the musical content, and am looking forward to further expanding beyond the usual digital vector drawing program I tend to use/have used for years.
*I had not played on a piano in many years, apart from plunking the keys and not being able to hear myself at 2 separate jazz open jams which offered up pianos that had seen much, much better days...whenever those days were! Couldn't hear myself, either. Anyhow, when transferring my percussive style of attacking the keys over to the instrument, I'd been accustomed to my digital piano. The baby grand actually gave me less resistance / had quicker action, than on the weighted keys of the keyboard. I'm not a pianist, first and foremost. But, there is very, very little that I love more than sitting at a piano and working on ideas/developing them into maybe more than just variations. Actually, to cut this short...please excuse me for the rust in my playing! I'm kind of in a gray area, where I can play some rather advanced-sounding material, but my technique is not very refined. Quite a bit of this material has an Eb/D# "anchor" to it, as well. While I had thought of mixing in some material from the 2nd extended improvisation I recorded on the same day (there was quite a bit in the key of A...), it just felt forced in. Being someone with synesthesia (several forms of it), I really feel that the whole "Eb feel" goes with the cover art. The opening track actually does first seem to be in maybe F Major, but, trust me, it ends up in a different territory. The more I get familiar again with playing in all the keys and with my basic I-IV-V / ii-V-Is and then scales and etc... the better I'll play on the next album. But, this one is rather pretty, so, I'm going to put it up! And that is that...oh, and, on Soundcloud, if anyone is interested, the last piano-centered album that I put out in the earlier 2000's is there under the albums list. It has upright bass on it, should anyone be disappointed that I did not use a piano trio format. I was disappointed, but am over it, now :)
released March 10, 2017
Piano, percussion/drum set parts recorded & mixed by Linus Lemont.