Adam Birnbaum - Travels
srcd-0036 (UPC 823511003625 jazz cd)
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This album was recorded on the evening of June 8th, 2008 at Westbeth Studios in the West Village. It was a very relaxed session, and most of the tunes were done in one take, two at the most. I was delighted with the contributions of both Rodney and Joe. Rodney I have worked with for many years, and I am always amazed by his ability to be so swinging and thoroughly creative and modern at the same time. Joe was brought into this project much later on, but that did not stop him from contributing outstandingly. He shapes the contours of the music and holds down the foundation in this group with swing, creativity and finesse. Sharel adds a new dimension and color with her contributions as a composer and saxophonist.
While I do think music is capable of "speaking for itself," I felt a few short words on the pieces on this album would be of interest. "Jackhammer" is a driving up-tempo piece that conjures up the frenetic energy of New York City. "Kat's Dance" is written for Katsura, my wonderful and beautiful girlfriend of over 3 years. "Three For One" is a rhythm-changes with a somewhat unusual, quirky head written in 3-part harmony. "Kate The Great" is a waltz written years ago for my pet dog, who despite being mostly German Shepherd and looking quite tough would shy away from a confrontation with a small squirrel. "Travels" is a piece about being far away from home and feeling somewhat wistful and reflective. "Band Call" is a vehicle for us to play and have fun with no set agenda harmonically or otherwise. "Song of Those Who Seek" is an original by Sharel that we had a lot of fun playing over. "House Party Starting" is included in tribute to the great unsung pianist/composers over the years who somehow missed their spot in the limelight. "Hor Ich Das Liedchen Klingen" is a haunting melody by Robert Schumman, one of my favorite songwriters of all-time. "Urgency" is an original composition with a driving intensity to it, featuring an amazing drum solo by Rodney. "The Very Thought Of You" is a tribute to Hank Jones, the hippest jazz pianist alive today. "Camden" is a swinging original of Rodney's in honor of his hometown near Philadelphia, with Sharel joining us on soprano.
I hope you find the music half as enjoyable to listen to as it was for us to play.