Teaser is based on the form and most of the harmony from Star Eyes, an old (1943)
popular standard. The melody is based on something I improvised while trying to
imagine playing over the Star Eyes changes in 7/4 time.
The Wishing Song is something I wrote in 1991 but never recorded on an album of my
own until now.
Song of the Underground Work Song is named thus because the form folds into itself and
the tune begins as it ends, so to speak.
Afastado means “remote” or “distant” in Portuguese, much like the guitar’s answers to
the flugelhorn’s questions in the musical dialogue that is the melody.
Riff One is based on a pattern I stumbled across while practicing and is set against
several seeming contradictory rhythms played by the rest of the band.
Roweena is based on the 12-bar blues and uses serial techniques that aren’t readily
apparent. The bass starts the piece with a twelve-tone row, the guitar plays on top of it
with a different twelve-tone row, the trumpet enters and plays three different twelvetone
rows which are repeated while the guitar plays yet another group of three twelvetone
rows. I would often introduce this tune on gigs as “Thelonius Monk and Arnold
Schoenberg Go Drinking.”
Courting Disaster uses the same bass line (the four beginning notes played by the guitar)
throughout under a slightly risky melody, all in 5/4 time.
Out of Towner gets its inspiration from American guitarist and composer Ralph Towner.
Let Go is dedicated to Marianne Collins Kase, who finally let go.
I’ve taken literally hundreds of Puddle Jumper flights over the years. The tune is based
entirely on the melodic minor scale. The leaping bass line and melody also made me
think of a kid jumping puddles on the sidewalk.
The last tune is For Ken Wheeler who was both an inspiration and a friend to me, and
was improvised on the flugelhorn a week or so before the recording session. I put
chords to it and transcribed it for the band. This recorded version is the first time we
had ever played it.