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In the context of its 40-year history, BassDrumBone's New Haven residence was short-lived. Helias had already joined Anderson in New York in 1977even before the trio played its first concertand Hemingway followed suit in 1979. The larger New Haven creative music community itself was dispersing at the end of the 1970s. Some of the musicians had graduated from Yale and were ready to pursue careers elsewhere; others simply left for other opportunities. That phase of the city's creative life came to a close. Eventually Wesleyan University, just north of New Haven in Middletown, Connecticut, became a major focus for creative music in the state, though New Haven continues to have an active scene of its own. Heard four decades later, the OAHSPE album is one of a number of durable, still-exciting recordings to have come out of a fertile, if relatively evanescent, moment when this small postindustrial city was the nexus of a remarkable collection of talent.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
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