OTish: making my first jazz record as a bandleader

AaronLatos

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Yep. Finally doing it.

Have played full time since I got out of college, done a bunch of other people's records, but... yeah, it's time to do the bandleader thing and do something a little different.

Following from a FB post earlier today:

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Friends, dreams still come true sometimes (ESPECIALLY if YOU can lend a hand).

I’m excited to announce that on the 27th, I’m headed into the studio to make my first ‘jazz’* record as a bandleader.

Joining me will be Ira Coleman (Dee Dee Bridgewater, Herbie Hancock, Tony Williams, Sting) and Karl Berger (Don Cherry, Ornette Coleman, and, as founder the Creative Music Studio, a who’s who of creative, groundbreaking musicians). We’ll be recording at Clubhouse, the studio where some of my favorite records (in the jazz world: Bad Plus, Brian Blade, Jack deJohnette. In the rock/pop world: turn on the radio) records were made. Studio owner Paul Antonell is a close friend and fan of both Karl and Ira, and a real believer in the project.

I couldn’t be more thrilled and honored to work with these gentlemen. Both of them are superlative improvisors with the ability to stay soulfully grounded, while still inventing each moment’s music from the ground up.

Even though this is coming together blazingly quickly and somewhat unexpectedly, it’s taken a lot (going on 4 years, actually) for the specific stars to align to make this record… but the dream of making it goes back longer. It goes back to me, hearing records with both Karl and Ira, and being pulled in by the energy, the invention, never dreaming I’d get to play with them, let alone make my own statement with them.




++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
“So, Aaron! I noticed that you put the word “jazz” in quotation marks. What’s that all about? What crazy kinda music you gettin’ into here, anyway?”

Glad you asked!

Yeah, this is a record of improvised music. And if you’re a jazz listener, you’ll probably find something to like.

Will some of it ‘swing’? For sure. Will there even be a few ‘standards’ on there that you’ll know? Well, not the standard “standards,” but probably.

But I have a sheepish confession to make: I, um… I don’t like about half of contemporary jazz records. And the other half sound great, but aren’t what I feel like making right now. I’m after something a little grittier, a little earthier. A little more adventurous. And by that, I DON’T mean complex, or unlistenable. I mean… I love it when musicians, working with very simple, beautiful forms and melodies, give themselves the chance to push themselves, to stretch, to yes, make beautiful, honest ‘mistakes.’ Like Miles Davis mistakes. Jimi Hendrix mistakes. When the singer’s voice cracks for a moment, when the pianist ‘clunks’ two notes because they’re really reaching for that beautiful high note they imagined just a moment before the beat… yeah, that’s the stuff that makes me tear up. So that’s what I wanna make.



So I’m gonna make a simple, classic record, and I’m not gonna edit it to death. We’re not gonna be playing in insane time signatures with irrational numbers and super weird scales, laying precisely on a metronomically mathematically perfect grid. I love that stuff. But that’s not what this is gonna be.

This record will be the sound of three musicians who like and respect each other a great deal, figuring it out in a room together, and letting their fingerprints be all over it.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



NOW, the extra fun parts:

I’m making more than ‘just an album.’

I’ll be documenting the creative process in a way that’s really interesting, and hopefully useful, to lovers of improvised music (fans and musicians alike), and as well as folks people who engage in their own creative process. I’ll share all the details with you all as soon as I can!

HOWEVER, this raises the cost of making the album somewhat. And between the short notice opportunity to record at Clubhouse (due to a very famous musician having to reschedule, making for an unexpected availability in the studio’s schedule)… there’s a lot to get ready, in a very short amount of time, including $funding$.

There’ll be an official launch, and possibly a crowdfunding somethingorother, at some point in the future, but for now… if you’re someone to whom this is particularly interesting, and you’d love to support&be a part of the project in a financial way (as a patron OR an investor), send me a message on here, or give me a call (304-871-0022).

I don’t need a lot to make this happen in the ideal way, but there is a last little financial push that could help me focus on making the best piece of art possible. And that’s what I want to give to you.


NO MATTER WHAT, I can’t wait to share this with y’all.

More soon.
Aaron
 

AaronLatos

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Y'all have been a GREAT community of all things drums and music over the past decade+ for me, and I'm looking forward to sharing the process! :)

And in drum nerd speakey-speak... man, too many good options. :) I've got my Sonor Champions (12/14/16, 18), and the studio has piles and piles of super awesome stuff (a great Unix stave kit, lots of vintage Gretsch, including a black 12/14/18 roundbadge kit that Brian Blade is supposedly super fond of). Kinda wish I had my Radioking 26" kick handy for a few pieces, but it's stuck in another state right now. Won't run short of good drums to use, though, that's for sure!
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Ira is on bass and the Karl pianist is 84 y.o.! I wish you well and can't wait to hear
a bit of it! I wonder if the black RB kit is the same one Brian brought to Monterey Jazz in 2014 (if so the bass is SSB)........sweet! He played a vintage 4160 COB with it - that kit got passed around that weekend.........
 

AaronLatos

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Karl's a total force of nature... he's been my teacher and mentor for a few years now. He's up there in years but still kicking hard.

I remember a moment on stage with him, maybe three years ago... him, Kirk Knuffke on cornet and Rudresh Mahanthappa on alto. Super loud, uptempo bop, think we were playing a Monk tune but it went way out. Midway through Karl's vibraphone solo, he turns to me and the bassist, points up, and shouts "more!" Mind you, at that moment, the tempo was super fast, I'm already playing with a pair of 5B Extremes turned backwards, faking double kick licks with the floor tom, all rimshots, and crash-riding on a 21" china. :D

I think that the studio has owned that RB kit for a long time, but I'll ask. From what I remember last time I was up there, it was an RB kick.
 

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