Accurate Records: Growing Out of Boston
Boston is lucky to have Russ Gershon, saxophonist, composer and leader of the acclaimed Either/Orchestra. Through his label, Accurate Records, Gershon has done a tireless effort of promoting the music of the local scene, building up a brand of musical integrity and adventurousness that has become an emblem of quality for those in the know.
All About Jazz: You founded Accurate Records in 1987. What is the story behind the name and is it possible to define the aesthetics of the label?
Russ Gershon: The name comes from two places. It's a pun, of course, and I love a good punwhich may be the same thing as a bad pun! The word "Accurate" is also close to the beginning of the alphabet, and I knew that as a small label, we'd be put on lists. I figured it wouldn't hurt to be near the top of the list.
I had previous experiences in the early 80s when various rock bands I was in put out their own 45s, which was a common part of the punk "do it yourself" aesthetic. I was also influenced by labels run by Sun Ra and Charles Mingus among other jazz DIY labels, many of which I had been exposed to when I was working at my college radio station as the jazz director, and opening up the incoming mail.
After the Either/Orchestra had been together for almost a year, I recorded the band live and also in the studio [in July 1986]. The tapes struck me as worthy of release, so I took steps to mix, sequence, master and create the LP cover design for Dial "E" for Either/Orchestra. I was fortunate to have a good friend working at Rounder Distribution, the largest indie distributor in New England, who set up a deal for me. Being a radio person, and also an avid reader of jazz journalism, I decided that the most economical form of promotion would be to send out a lot of copies to radio and press, probably around 500 at the beginning, and I've continued to follow that plan. Over the years we've built up a kind of rising underground network as some of the college DJs and freelance journalists have progressed in music industry careers and remember hearing the E/O when they were just starting in the business.
The aesthetic of the label mirrors and extends the aesthetic I brought to the E/O. I was strongly influenced by the post-Coltrane mainstream and the incoming Midwestern avant-garde that I heard growing up around New York in the mid-70s. There was an expanding comprehension of the continuum from early, pre-swing jazz through swing, bop and avant-garde, and of course there were many different approaches to integrating rock and funk grooves and electronics into jazz. Connecting it all was the sense that jazz had to move forward to survive artistically. When Wynton Marsalis and his business supporters began trying to turn back the clock on jazz history and define a very conservative set of limits on what counts as jazz, I felt very alienated from the new mainstream of the jazz business. The E/O was my personal attempt to develop myself as a composer, player and bandleader outside of the neo-conservative wave in jazz. From the beginning, we integrated "non-jazz" repertoire and the full range of jazz styles. A lot of the ideas we were kicking around at that time have become commonplace in jazz now, such as playing rock songs, radically juxtaposing jazz styles, and bringing wit and humor to our presentation and promotion.
After the success I had with Dial "E", other musicians in the Boston scene began asking me for advice about how to put out a record, and it began to dawn on me that I had the infrastructure of a label in place but not enough product flow. I decided to expand and put out other artists' recordings, starting withKosen Rufu by the Billy Skinner Double Jazz Quartet. Billy is a trumpeter and composer whom I remembered from a point in his career in the mid-70s when he was playing with Jackie McLean. After that he had moved to Boston and led a band that included Henry Cook, a reedman whom I knew from my year at Berklee. Henry was a good organizer and served as de facto manager and producer for the DJQ, and we worked together on mixing, packaging and promoting Kosen Rufu in early 1990. Soon afterwards, I worked with violinist Emery Davis, saxophonist Phil Scarff (Natraj), bassist John Leaman (the Mandala Octet), saxophonist Jay Brandford, saxophonist (and E/O member) Charlie Kohlhase and vocalist Dominique Eade to put out a bunch of CDs in quick succession. It's impossible to lump these fine musicians in one stylistic camp, but altogether they help to understand the parameters of the label, from Indo-jazz to swinging post-bop to avant-garde to original vocal jazz. All intelligent, self-managed artists who could participate fully in producing and promoting their albums, all devoted to being original voices in their chosen stylistic areas. Also, many Either/Orchestra members sprinkled throughout these groups.
Since then, that general description has held. I see Accurate as a kind of coop label, where I handle the central organization, the relations with distributors and so on, and generally define the aesthetics of the label through my selection of artists, but where the artists have tons of autonomy in regards to their own albums. I've never been in the position, financially or organizationally, to develop very unformed artists, but I'm fortunate that Boston is just full of mature or quickly maturing artists who have needed what I can provide.
AAJ: You are both a musician and a label owner. How have the different practices influenced each other?
RG: I suppose the first way is that being an active player in several different segments of the Boston jazz and rock scenes, I have a lot of direct contact with players and hear through the musician grapevine what people are up to and what they are like as artists, organizers and people. So it's been fairly easy for me to find appropriate artists and vice versa. I have put out a number of albums by people I didn't previously know from different parts of the country, but that came a little later when I had more experience and skill at evaluating the situation. I'm fortunate that many of my friends have been great artists and many great artists are my friends, which made the quality of music on Accurate usually very high.
The next way is that any and all promotional strategies that I would recommend to other artists I have already tried out on myself, on the Either/Orchestra. The artists respect the fact that if I'm going to recommend, in effect, that they spend their promotional budget a certain way, I've already risked my own money in the same way. I'm like Dr. Jekyll, always drinking the experimental brew first. And because I'm a working musician, the artists come in recognizing that I have limited time and resources to put into their CDs, that my most valuable contribution to them will be my own experience, successes and failures.
AAJ: Could you mention some of the records that have made a special impression on you? What would you define as key moments in the history of the label?
RG: The obvious list would involve the artists who have gone on to great success. The unique rock band Morphine's debut album Good, Medeski, Martin & Wood's Notes from the Underground, which they originally issued themselves, but which I picked up as they were emerging into fame, albums by Dominique Eade and Garrison Fewell which featured such major figures as Stanley Cowell, Alan Dawson, Fred Hersch and Cecil McBee. Of course the Either/Orchestra albums mean the most to me personally, and when I was nominated for a Grammy in 1992 that gave the label a higher level of cachet.
But I can honestly say that there is no album on the label that I didn't love at least a little during the course of working on it, and a great many that I loved a lot. When I go back to through the catalog, I'm amazed at the enduring quality and integrity of almost all of it. I only wish there is more that I could do to bring recognition to these recordings.
AAJ: Accurate Records has been around for quite some time now. Has it become easier or harder to make a living as an independent record label?
RG: It's becoming difficult to make money as any kind of record label, just ask the thousands of employees who have been laid off by the majors. It's not breaking news that over the past decade or more, the easy copying of digital files has made it increasingly hard to actually sell recorded music. As time goes by, the notion of physical distribution of products, which used to be one of the important elements of being a record label, has become less important. So, that "gatekeeper" aspect of labels is much reduced, although not gone. Accurate has enough of a track record so that my imprimatur does add some value to the titles I release, in that it will encourage journalists, radio programmers and even listeners to pick Accurate titles out of flood of music that is now released. It also helps contextualize what Accurate artists are doing, simply through association with the label's previous catalog.
AAJ: Could you say something about the different genres on the labelfilm music, jazz, rock and so onand some of the artists that have shaped its sound?
RG: The film music releases have all come from one group of people, the Alloy Orchestra and one of their original members, the late Alloy Orchestra. My connection there is with percussionist/producer Ken Winokur, who has been a friend since we met in the Cambridge (MA) rock/art scene in the early 80s. Ken and the Alloy began playing live, percussion-heavy original soundtracks for silent films in the late 80s, and I've issued three of them. Caleb also composed scores for the great documentarian Errol Morris, and I've issued two of them. Morphine was the first rock band I released. I met their leader, the late Mark Sandman, in the mid-80s in Cambridge. He used to guest with the Either/Orchestra in our early years, as a singer and on guitar, and I played in his band Hypnosonics for many years, right until he died in 1999. When Morphine (which included Jerome Dupree, the first E/O drummer) finished its first album, it was a natural that I would help put it out. Subsequent rock artists like Willie Alexander, Bourbon Princess, Hummer, Asa Brebner and Fire in the Boathouse are people I have known around the scene either as a player or fan long before I worked with them. Once again, it's hard to put them in a stylistic category. They are all artists with tons of integrity, not trendy, not mainstream, very creative, good people, easy to work with.
AAJ: How busy is your release schedule? And how do you find your artists? Do you have your own studio that you use?
RG: In the 90s I had a kind of pressing and distribution deal with Rounder Records (connected to, but distinct from, Rounder Distribution), and I kept a busy and ambitious schedule with as many as ten releases a year. Now it's slower, one or two in most years, although I just released four on the same day back on August 2010: Mood Music for Time Travellers by the Either/Orchestra; Unduality by Greg Burk and Vicente Lebron (a former and a current E/O member); Oy Yeah! by Klezwoods (Klezmer/Middle Eastern/Balkan band full of excellent jazz players); A Wallflower in the Amazon by Darrell Katz and the Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra (large ensemble jazz with art song texts, plus some hard core, wildly extended blues). I guess you could call this a typical Accurate batch: stylistically diverse, each a fantastic project executed in its own terms, Either/Orchestra connections, Boston based.
I don't have a studio of my own, although I did mix the recent E/O album on my own Pro Tools set up and I'll be doing more of that.
AAJ: How do you see the development of the label and what is your criterion for success? Can you say something about the upcoming releases?
RG: If you can project the development of the record industry, I'll project the development of the label! An Accurate release is a success if the artist feels that they have advanced their career, been widely and fairly reviewed and played on the radio, and created a worthy documentation of their work which is readily available through internet stores and by download, and which they can use for booking or selling at shows. The only upcoming product with a release date at the moment (March 2011) is Brian Carpenter's Ghost Train Orchestra with Hot House Stomp: The Music of 1920s Chicago and Harlem. It's a collection of meticulously transcribed and juicily played arrangements for a medium sized big band from the era before the familiar sound of 1930s big bands had been established. To me, this is a prime example of how old music can be recreated in a loving but non-stuffy way that brings new life to it.
Other Either/Orchestra projects that may or may not be released by Accurate will be a live recording with the great Ethiopian singer Mahmoud Ahmed which we've been accumulating over concerts for a few years; a studio project with the Ethiopian singer Teshome Mitiku; a studio record of my finished original compositions; another studio recording of music that I received a Chamber Music America commission to write. Also, I have done a 25th Anniversary Concert featuring many alumni, and we have another one in New York (Feb. 11, 2011 at Le Poisson Rouge), both of which are being recorded and videotaped.
And I have no doubt that more interesting projects will present themselves. One thing I've learned after thirty years of playing in very serious bands and being immersed in the music scene is that dedicated musicians will write and record music, come hell or high water. I will continue to lend my experience and knowledge to as many of them as I can.
One thing is the future, another thing is the past. The following selection is a tiny portion of the many highlights in the Accurate catalog.
The Brunt, the fifth release by Either/Orchestra, finds them in a particularly inspired mood. The orchestra's signature sound, combining lush charts and swinging rhythms with avant-garde explosions and pretty explorations of texture, takes the listener out on joyful journey. "Pas de Trois" is a feverishly swinging piece, while "Hard Talk," a cover of a Mal Maldron tune, sees the saxophone trio of Russ Gershon, Andrew DAngelo and Charlie Kohlhase opening with an a cappella conversation of cacophonic tones, before the rhythm section sets in, creating an elastic counterpoint to the voice of the reeds. A surprising inclusion is the cover of Bob Dylan's "Lay Lady Lay," a song which gets a witty comment by Gershon in the liner notes: "Lay Lady Lay comes from that well-known jazz composer Bob Dylan...This arrangement landed in our book one April day in Ohio, when a band member (John Dirac?) played Nashville Skyline on his boom box. During the three-hour drive to Dayton, yours truly scratched out a chart, and copied the parts in green ink (we still have those parts) while the band ate dinner."
Combining humor, a superior sense of rhythm and melody, and an eclectic sense of genres, Either/Orchestra's The Brunt is a heavyweight in the discography of the group.
Dark of Days
The influence from rock is shown on Bourbon Princess' gloomy Dark of Days. Singer/songwriter Monique Ortiz's deep voice and fretless bass is front and center on a album that also features former Morphine drummer Jerome Dupree and Russ Gershon on saxophones.
Slowly unfolding tales of lust, longing and darkness are garnered with shuffling drums, chugging guitars, bluesy rhythms and soulful saxophone. A particular highlight is the title track with its surreal lyrics: "The wind took their sail, waltzing on the ocean. The captain's on a bed of nails while all those evil thinkers and foul-mouthed drinkers made plans for us. This doom is very scenic and bright! For a moment I forgot that we were still in the night."
Complementing the evocative lyrics is a beautiful string arrangement by Gershon, a welcome addition to the deep blues-rock sound that dominates the album.
Taken as whole, Darkness of Days is a sinister affair, but there's also something strangely uplifting about Ortiz's music. Maybe it's her admirable will to confront the darker aspects of the human mind.
New Music for Silent Films
The bleak, the beautiful and the weird go hand in hand on Alloy Orchestra's New Music for Silent Films. The program covers five movies: , Aelita, Queen of Mars, Sylvester, The Wind and First Night.
While many film composers rely on strings as their primary source for creating moods, the Alloy Orchestra uses the double attack of percussion to make a world of fascinating sounds. Adding to the effect of percussion is Caleb Simpson's tasteful use of synthesizers and the organic sound of the accordion.
Of the five movie sections, the extended suites from Metropolis and First Night are the most successful. The music to Metropolis effectively translates an expressionist industrial landscape into sound. "The Clock," for instance, conveys the mechanic slavery of time. However, there's also room for otherworldly beauty on the ambient "Garden of Earthly Delights."
First Night uses layers of hectic percussion patterns, especially on "Burundi" and "False Alarm." Here, saxophonist Neil Leonard's wailing horn gives an extra dimension to the feeling of chaos.
While the influence of minimalists Terry Riley, Philip Glass and Steve Reich is clear, Alloy Orchestra still have their very own take on making film music that can be enjoyed with or without the pictures.
The Crazy Woman
Poetry comes to life on pianist Frank Carlberg's album The Crazy Woman. Poems by the likes of Jack Kerouac, Wallace Stevens, Gwendolyn Brooks and Anselm Hallo are set to music by Carlberg and sung by Christine Correa, helped out by the trio of saxophonist Chris Cheek, bassist Ben Street and drummer Kenny Wollesen.
The result of Carlberg's musical interpretation of poetry is both swinging and unconventional, and like Norma Winstone, Correa is perfect at sculpting the words with modernistic precision, avoiding the trap of pure recitation.
While the title track is the most impressive in terms of Correa's command of words, it's on the more minimalistic interpretations that she really shines. As for instance in her reading of the haiku-like poem by Rabindranath Tagore called "Fireflies": "My fancies are fireflies / Specks of living light / twinkling in the dark." Because of the limited amount words, Correa is able to twist, turn and repeat the phrases, playing with pause and breath.
Far from a conventional album of jazz and poetry, The Crazy Woman shows the potential of putting music together with words. Here, the textures of instruments, voice and words melt together in a coherent and forceful artistic expression.
Purple Cha Cha Heels
Purple Cha Cha Heels is the kind of record that might come with a warning: "This record can make you smile and dance all night." The Latin rhythms of this fabulous five-piece group are both life-affirming and propulsive.
Tunes like "Let it Slide" and "Kick Your Culo" really hit the feet, driven by percussionist Ana Norgaard's bouncing congas and percussion, and Tim Mayer's flute and saxophone dance around like a lovesick snake charmer.
On "Merengana," the group welcomes Gonzalo Grau on piano, guira and tambora and he adds extra sophistication to an already swinging sound. But frankly, there's no need for extra ingredients in the spicy dish that is Purple Cha Cha Heels. In particular, the two trombones, played by Russell Jewell and Jim Messbauer, give the tunes a fat groove.
Most of the album is about having fun and moving the body to a beat, but there's also time for contemplation in the surprisingly elegiac "Those Who Trespass Against Us." Here, the group shows that it has other colors on its palette than orange, yellow, red and green. There's also black and blue. However, there's no doubt which mood prevails: Purple Cha Cha Heels is a wonderful Latin explosion of rhythms and an unconditional homage to life.
Pandelis Karayorgis / Eric Pakula
It's says of something of the stylistic diversity of Accurate that there's room for both the warm Latin rhythms of Brass Roots and the cool jazz compositions of pianist Brass Roots. On lines, alto saxophonist Eric Pakula and pianist Pandelis Karayorgis take up the torch of Tristano and show that it's unjust to accuse the composer of being cold, overly intellectual and thin of blood.
Tristano's tune "Two Not One" is played with virtuosity in a fast-paced tempo that leaves the lines shining like they were carved out of marble, but there's also room for a sense of swing and raw emotionalism. Thus, Tristano's music never becomes too polished, the academic exercise is avoided and instead the forms explored seem fresh and unpretentious, imbued with artistic originality while keeping the stamp of the master.
Besides music composed by Tristano and associates of the Tristano School, the record also includes original compositions by Pakula and Karayorgis. Thus, "Dark Song" is a mellifluous ballad by Pakula, slowly weaving a net of mournful lines around Karayorgis' Thelonious Monk-ish comping. "In Time" is another ballad, this time by the pianist. Pretty and emotional, with use of unpredictable breaks and sudden bursts of fast unison lines, the song embodies the qualities of the record as a whole. At once intellectual and emotional, traditional and modernistic, accessible and experimental, Lines is a prime example of compositional and improvisational art.
Ken Schaphorst Ensemble
When The Moon Jumps
For many years, arranger and composer Ken Schaphorst has worked with the medium of the big band, but When The Moon Jumps sees his him working within the format of the tentet.
The players he has found to realize his compositions are far from unknown. In fact, with Medeski, Martin & Wood and saxophonist Donny McCaslin participating, it could be called a regular star-ensemble. However, Schaphorst has the ability to use his collaborators ideally. As Bob Blumenthal writes in the liner notes: "Ken Schaphorst demonstrates that he knows both how to write, and, once his music is written, how to get his talented collaborators to make what he wrote sound right."
A perfect example of Schaphorst's ability to use the sound of his players is the beautifully realized "Concerto for John Medeski," a suite in three parts: "Flowing," "Standing Still" and "Flying." Here, pianist John Medeski's deconstructive sense of chaos and form, melody and dissonance, is translated into ambitious charts where the ebb and flow of the music enchants with a strong sense of inner logic.
Overall, Schaphorst has a superior sense of texture that comes successfully to the fore on When The Moon Jumps, that covers everything from silky Duke Ellington like swing to postmodern breakdowns of genre.
The Grismore/Scea Group was formed by guitarist Steve Grismore and saxophonist and flutist Paul Scea, but it also features trumpeter Tim Hagans, drummer Matt Wilson and bassist Johnny Turner. Together they make up a potent unit whose powerful brew of electrified post-bop is both melodic and groovy.
Horns and guitar lines weave in and out of each other on "157 A.M." and "Intensity/Density," showcasing an updated version of saxophonist Charlie Parker's aesthetic with a touch of the avant-garde. The playing is imbued with urgency and Grismore's distorted guitar lines scream with passion.
Scea and Grismore are strong composers, capable of both sound and fury and gentle ballads. Thus, "Die for a Metaphor" and "Gone But Not Forgotten," written by Scea and Grismore respectively, move into quiet territory, creating delicate textures of sound. Hagans' playing especially shines on the latter with a smoky tone, while Matt Wilson's subdued march-like rhythms provide the background for the melody.
Of What is ambitious post-bop at its best. Melodically challenging and rhythmically intense, the record burns with conviction. Jazz history is played inside out and transformed into something entirely new and refreshing.
Jacques Chanier Trio
The art of the trio is explored on pianist Jacques Chanier's beautiful album Quilt. Here, Chanier shows a crystalline, lyrical touch and an impressionistic sense of harmony, painting ethereal melodies with melancholy chords, but he can also swing with passion and inventiveness.
Helping him out is drummer Brooke Sofferman, who both caters to Chanier's lyrical mood and his need of a good groove. The same thing is true of bassist Thomas Kneeland whose use of electronics, as on the haunting "Endless," gives extra color to the trio's signature sound.
Throughout, many fascinating details appear. For instance, Sofferman's use of a frame drum gives ambience to the elegantly executed "Dance for Peace," where Chanier's fingers chant through the keyboard. Elsewhere, the rolling waves of piano form a nice introduction to the groovy "Y Note," while the soft ballad "Dry Tears" ends the album on a contemplative note.
Playing on all facets of the form of the trio, Chanier and his cohorts laugh, cry and sing through music. Many genres and songs have been soaked up in the group's style, but the final result of the different musical threads on the album is a quilt which is all its own: refreshingly contemporary and yet timeless in its beauty.
Made in the Shade
Made in the Shade
Good times and fun prevail on the quirky Dixieland jazz from Made in the Shade. It's not many times that one hears a toilet flushing on record, but this actually happens on "Squid Man Stop," a track from the group's self-titled album.
A drawing of a smiling crocodile with bowler-hat graces the cover of the album, and there's something cartoonish about the music, underlined by titles such as "Splotches" and "Polkaspasm."
As can be expected, this is hardly authentic music in the most rigid sense of the word. Anachronistic curveballs, such as a spicy flavor of Mexican music, interrupt the tune "Caravan," where the banjo plays full speed ahead while the tuba blows joyfully.
While relatively true to the genre, Made in the Shade is far from your ordinary Old Time band. Breaks played at punk-rock speed, sound effects and a general sense of weirdness makes the band one of kind. The best way to describe it would be as kind of postmodern surreal Dixieland music. This is a record that shows that Accurate is not afraid to take chances when it comes to disturbing purists of genre. The only thing that matters in the end is the music.
Tracks and Personnel
Tracks: Pas de Trois; Notes on a Cliff; Hard Talk; Permit Blues; Jon's Dream; H.A.C.; The Brunt; Blues for New Orleans; Lay Lady Lay.
Personnel: Tom Halter: trumpet, flugelhorn; John Carlson: trumpet, flugelhorn, pocket trumpet; Russell Jewell: trombone; Dan Fox: trombone; Andrew D'Angelo: alto saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet; Russ Gershon: tenor, soprano saxophone; Charlie Kohlhase: baritone saxophone; Chris Taylor: piano, synthesizer; John Turner: bass; Matt Wilson: drums.
Dark of Days
Tracks: Still Asleep; The Waiting Noon; Blue Kitchen; The Hat; Dark of Days; Cliché; Supergirls Complaint; In Between Songs; Master Manipulator; Minor Key; So Much Time.
Personnel: Monique Ortiz: vocals, fretless bass, baritone guitar; Jim Moran: guitar, bass; Russ Gershon: baritone, tenor and soprano saxophones; Jerome Dupree: drums, percussion.
Tracks: Metropolis; Garden of Earthly Delights; The Clock; Maria's Theme; Escape from the Underground City; Aelita; Life on Mars; The Blue Room; Theme from Sylvester; Cabaret Medley; The Wind; Burundi; False Alarm; Zone of Silence; Ophelia; Deep Water; Baptism of Fire.
Personnel: Terry Donahue: percussion, accordion; Caleb Sampson: synthesizers; Ken Winokur: percussion; Neil Leonard: saxophone.
The Crazy Woman
Tracks: Godlike; The Last Toast; The Crazy Woman; We Real Cool; Frog/Man; The Snow Man; Fireflies; Veins; I Clearly Saw; Life is Sick; No Way & Now.
Personnel: Frank Carlberg: piano; Christine Correa: voice; Chris Cheek: tenor saxophone; Ben Street: bass; Kenny Wollesen: drums.
Purple Cha Cha Heels
Tracks: A Day in the life of an Afro; Free for a Dollar; Purple Cha Cha Heels; Carnival; Fajita Fajardo; Cruzin; Let it Slide; Compay Pongasé Duro; Merengana; Those Who Trespass Against Us; Kick Your Culo; Chachita; Chan; Tjader Dude; When Elephants Fly.
Personnel: Russell Jewell: trombone; Jim Messbauer: trombone; Ana Norgaard: congas, percussion; Scott Aruda: trumpet; Tim Mayer: baritone saxophone, flute; Gonzalo Grau: piano, guira, tambora.
Tracks: 317 E. 32nd Street; Two Not One; King Oliver; Dark Song; Featherbed; Kary's Theme; Mishing; April; All About You; Lament; In Time; Dreams; Out & Out; Baby; Background Music.
Personnel: Eric Pakula: alto saxophone; Pandelis Karayorgis: piano; Jonathan Robinson: bass; Nate McBride: bass; Eric Rosenthal: drums; John McLean: drums.
When the Moon Jumps
Tracks: When the Moon Jumps; Checkered Blues; All the Things You Are; Con Alma; Stomping Ground; Perfect Machine; Flowing; Standing Still; Flying.
Personnel: Doug Yetes: alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Donny McCaslin: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; John Carlson: trumpet; Bob Levy: trumpet; Curtis Hasselbring: trombone; John Dirac: guitar; John Medeski: piano; Chris Wood: bass; Dane Richeson: percussion; Billy Martin: percussion.
Tracks: Of What; 157 A.M.; Prefect; I Found a Shirt in My Yard; Intensity/Density; Die for a Metaphor; Feet; Child's Play; Gone But Not Forgotten; RSJ; Saap Story; Ryaum Chages.
Personnel: Steve Grismore: guitar; Paul Scea: tenor saxophone, flute; Tim Hagans: trumpet; Matt Wilson: drums; John Turner: bass.
Tracks: Can I Do This; Infamous Balloon Man; Endless; March Mellow; Dance for Peace; Announcement; Y Note; Viva la Revoluciòn; Take it Easy; Dry Tears.
Personnel: Thomson Kneeland: bass, electronics; Brooke Sofferman: drums, percussion; Jacques Chanier: piano.
Made in the Shade
Tracks: Squid Man Stomp; Caravan; Dinah; The Mooche; Mardi Gras in New Orleans; St. James Infirmary; Folkaspasm; When It's Sleepytime Down South; Royal Garden Blues; Permit Blues; Ol' Man Mose; Fungi Mama; Splotches; Basin St. Blues; That's A Plenty.
Personnel: Dan Fox: trombone; Nathan Cox: soprano & tenor saxophones, vocals; Mike Peipman: trumpet; Paul Dosier: tuba; John McClellan: drums; Crick Diefendorf: banjo, acoustic guitar; Jimmy Hazzy: banjo, vocals.
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