This CD is a classic. High
Energy Band CD with great songs and sax playing. Title track one of the
first original hip hop instrumentals.
I remember this particular version of my band well. Laura Newman was the sax player. She is still around Denver doing stuff. Marty Ruddy was the bass player-an amazing talent with a very unique bass sound. Marty passed away in 1996. John Merola was the drummer.
1. Laughing Man We were really a struggling band at the time this project was recorded. I was living in Denver, and the work there had dried up. We were commuting to New Mexico a couple of times a month just to make ends meet! Many of the songs on this CD had something to do with stuff that happened to us while we were on the road down there. This song was about a guy who used to come to our gigs and just sit there and laugh.
2. Red Shoes Marty, our bass player, was the ultimate in cool. His personal style was a trademark of my band. He was always wearing some trippy kind of shoes to our gigs. When I came up with the songs to this CD, he was wearing red shoes to the rehearsal and I thought, hmmm...that would be a cool title for the CD and the tune we were working on. We knew it would look better having women's shoes on the cover.
3. Morning Rain. This was Marty's feature tune on the gig. He was a pioneer in the use of harmonics and open string work. Jaco was doing a lot of cool stuff on the bass that was new for that time and Marty was copping all of it and adding his own thing to it as well. This song really wails when Laura comes in in the middle of the tune.
4. Reunion. This song was one I wrote about some cool guys I knew back in Denver- Joe Anderies, Bob Newnam, and Jeff Urhlaub. These guys were from Grand Junction, and we put a band together with Dave Randon and took it to Grand Junction for some gigs. This tune was about them.
5. Suntan Lotion This tune, and Chin Ups from this same project were about a wonderful girl I met in New Mexico while on the road down there. Pity, I have forgotten her name by now.
6. Chin Ups-see above.
7. Nukes Along the Rockies I always laugh when I hear this song and think about it. Colorado during those days was a big new age spawing ground, especially in Boulder where Marty lived. At the same time, the US Air Force has a huge base by Colorado Springs called Norad which is one of the major targets on any other superpowers' list as one of the first places to take out should there be a WW III. The melody line reflects the interesting ideas I had picked up while studying with George Russell in New York.
8. Jesus, Mary, and Irving This was a good closure, and reminds me of that song that they play at the end of Saturday Night Live. Laura's high notes at the end were spectacular for the time on alto. Now, I listen to Greg Vail play them on the tenor when we do this tune.
THOUGHTS: It just dawned on me this year (2001), that this CD is 20 years old. I started making them by hand because so many old fans were asking for it over email the past year, I really had no choice. What I am most proud of on this CD is that the music still sounds very good after this length of time which is always the test of any project. The title track was one of the first original Hip Hop grooves...created around the time a lot of the current hip hop artists were being born. Go figure. I still play these tunes at my gigs, and people still go crazy over them. Its one of my favorite CD's.