I was really fortunate to work with such a fantastic group on this record. Through their boundless energy and creativity we were able to track the entire record in one day despite a flat tire and a no-show violist who we had to replace last minute (Thanks again Allyson!)
Sebastian Noelle (guitar)..
..is one of the first musicians I met when I moved to New York and we have grown to be great friends and musical accomplices over the years. He is one of the most adaptable, virtuosic, and soulful musicians I've gotten the chance to play with. His compositional prowess is unmatched in it's ability to bridge complicated undercurrents of harmony and shifting rhythms with soulful singable melodies, his latest album, Shelter, has just been released on Fresh Sound Records. His amazingness is all over this record. You can really hear a nice little conversation between us on Pike tricks the haint with fire. He also was able to bring to life my insanely involved guitar part for What Remains.
Tomoko Omura (violin)..
..is seriously versatile. She can blend in a section, effortlessly blow over modern jazz changes and rhythms, play with extended techniques of her own creation, and is well versed in folk-fiddle language. She is also a brilliant composer and her latest album, Roots, is available on Inner Circle Music. You can hear some of her bluesy, evocative, improvisations throughout the record notably on Pike tricks the haint with Fire. http://www.tomokoomura.com
Keita Ogawa (percussion)..
..is in demand from every ensemble that can get their hands on the cat: Yo Yo Ma's Silk Road Project, Snarky Puppy, The Assad Brothers, Jamey Haddad and several major Orchestras around the world just to name a few. I had always wanted to work with Keita and had the opportunity when I hired him to play on my father's record, Points South, Just as he did with my music he always gives may more energy and effort than is expected. His dynamic playing really shaped the entire arc of the record. I really love the groove we got into on Monk's Mississippi Milk and his pandero playing as heard on The Judge is as groovy as anyone in the world.
Maria Im (violin)..
..is seriously in demand in the Classical and New Music circles. Has lately been performing all over the world through different ensembles. She is one of the most amazing section players ever. There were times when her and Tomoko were playing unison lines so in tune the recording engineer had to make sure he had all the mics turned on.
Allyson Clare (viola)..
..is a life saver! She had read through some of the sketches in their early development a few months prior to the session and I always wanted her on the record. When I set the date however it conflicted with another gig she had. In the mean time I got another violist who will remain nameless. On the day of the session it becomes apparent this cat was mad late and not answering his phone. Knowing we had limited time and seeing dollars and minutes blowing out the window I called Allyson. "Any chance you're free today?" "Actually yes my gig fell through." The stars aligned and Allyson swooped in to save the day. The parts bore little resemblance to what she had read through once months prior but she managed to go from sight unseen to turning the dots into music instantly. An amazing artist truly deserving wider recognition.
Jennifer Devore (cello)..
..is at home in a chamber group or orchestra as she is in a heavy metal band. Her ensemble Seven Suns merges these two worlds in a really cool way. She really brings a rhythmic immediacy not often heard on the cello, as well as being able to play so expressively. Her interpretation of the melody on Sonora is really effective, expressive but restrained, like a feeling too painful to let out. She has performed often in New Music Circles working closely along composers such as John Cage, John Zorn, and Ornette Coleman.