"...Trombonist Ryan Snow and Chess engage in a horde of bustling, supple and spiraling dialogues as they often accentuate a given theme, firmed up by bassist Will McEvoy, and percussionist Dan Kurfirst's crafty world-beat grooves. Chess is a superfine improviser with total command of his instrument...Chess leads the group through a buoyant assortment of song-forms and occasionally treks into the avant-garde domain, as they sustain a high level of interest amid a suspenseful sequence of progressions.... They also mix it up in a jazzy sort of way. Indeed, this is one of those magical efforts, teeming with striking comps and the artists' superlative technical expertise. They hit all the right spots while kicking out the proverbial jams via a fresh slant that yields gratifying results. " 4.5 stars.
-Glenn Astarita, All About Jazz.
This Music was recorded at The Uranian Phalanstery NYC, july 14-21st 2014 by Outbythetree Mobile, except Stepping Out of Circles which was recorded April 12th at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, NYC by Outbythetree Mobile.
So many people contributed to making the release happen. First and most beautiful my wife Pamela who continues to encourage and support the challenging life of a music maker and to who i am eternally grateful and who i love with all my heart and soul. Also i would like to thank Dan Kurfirst not only for his deep commitment to the music as well as to building lasting musical relationships but towards the recording of this Album for introducing me to Medi Matin of the Urananian Phalanstery and convincing him to allow us to use the Phalanstery's brownstone in Harlem to record. I would like to thank Medi for offering that and for his vision which allows the Uranian Phalanstery to support the arts as a spiritual practice. Also so much gratitude goes out to Will McEvoy and Ryan Snow, I met Will in early 2009, he had recently moved to NYC and contacted me on the advise of percussionist Jon Seligman. Ryan i met through Will. Both these guys are very Viva La humans as well as musically very talented. They both really got inside the music contributing in many ways to it's final expression. I love their sound and intensity of awareness. Also i would like to thank a most amazing man Bechir Zouay, very rarely one comes across someone of such spiritual depth with an intense spirit of life, generous and sincere curiosity and an uncanny and intuitive ear for sound usually reserved for those of us who call ourselves musicians. Bechir is one such man who i am very grateful to call my friend and who has been a continual source of inspiration to me.
I would also like to thank my Parents Carl and Mary Chess, Arturo Martinez, Haig Manoukian, The Nadery Cafe, Jon Seligman, Kenny Warren, Shane Shanahan, Mbuyiselo Mgwandi, Sadra Shahab, Mehran Farabakhsh, Djjfell, Mimi Jong, Melisa Jong, Zoey McEvoy, Lamia, Alex Magill, John Bonafede, Arian Saleh, Ravi Padmanabha, Dave Eggar, Chuck Palmer, Charles Blass, David Ellenbogen, Brandon Terzic, Richard Sleigh, Til Bones, On K'aa Davis, Pooyan Asiani, Banafsheh, Anthony Donovan, and New York City.
And first and last there is the Great Spirit, The One, God, Allah, whatever words one chooses to use; an Ineffable, Spontaneously Present Luminosity, the compassionate space that unites all of us to which i humbly bow with folded hands. Peace.
This is also available in Hard copy digipack format. if you would like me to send you one please write to me at Hoopoe@ix.netcom.com.
People have been asking me about the Cd design and how it relates to the music etc., so here it is:
The front/back cover art is a photo I took of a subway station advertising billboard. The utilitarian process of continually putting up ads and scraping off old ones creates unawares this unintended palimpsestual riot of texture and color, Rorschach type imagery as well as actually fragments of images, graffiti and writing. Framed by the ceramic wall tiles I liked the presence of it's texture and ...I found it compelling as a statement completely opposite the organically focused natural heart centered hence aware process the music conveys, was created within and is. To me the photo is a document on the result of the unaware disposable, exploitative, violent and superficial culture leading much of our current world system around by the nose. True music is an aware process that unfolds through time, it is not a product or commodity, static, closed and robotic but a continual horizon open and free to be traveled, explored by ears and hearts, an ineffable expression of the dialog of Nowness.
On the cd inside panels we have green and growing on the left with moonlight, the heart and ear = the intention behind the sense of hearing, musical instruments and the people who join with them. The beautiful wide open sky on the right as the sun flames the clouds, a 'skillful means' being a compassion that allows all things to find the true complete measure of their beauty. The circular cd with this funny number 618 connecting the two is set spinning to create the spiral of sound/time = Love is telepathic.