2020 Project Journal 1
Hey folks! It's great to be back in the middle of an artistshare project! I'm especially excited about this one, as I've been hoping to revisit this nonet context for some time. I've been thinking about and writing music for this ensemble on and off since the Evolution CD in 09, that was based around this type of group. I got two groups together ealier this year, one in NYC, and one in Winnipeg, (where I teach), to read through some of the music. I was unsure of how and where I would put the recording together. But once the pandemic hit it became clear that if I were to go ahead and record the project I'd likely have to do at least some of it remotely. So I decided to begin the project in Winnipeg, with a rhythm section comprised of current and former faculty and students from our jazz program at the Univ. of Manitoba, including Will Bonness, Jocelyn Gould, Julian Bradford and Fabio Ragnelli. We had recently recorded a CD of Will's at a nice local studio here in Winnipeg, Sterobus Recording, run by Paul Yee. There's lots of isolation there, so it allowed us to record more safely than if we were all in the same room. Derrick Gardner, our jazz trumpet professor, will also be playing trumpet on the project. My old friends in NYC, John Ellis and Alan Ferber, will be playing bass clarinet, tenor, and trombone, respectively. John is one of my favorite saxophone players, and Alan's one of my favorite trombonists, composers and arrangers. Alan, who's a multi Grammy nominated arranger, was an assistant producer on Evolution and will be again on this project, and will be helping out with doing some instrumentation on a couple of charts. Orrin Evans, one of my favorite pianists, will be playing on a tune or two, along with several former students, including Reginald Lewis, Anna Blackmore and Tristan Martinuson. We started rehearsals in late September and have done some recording earlier this month in October. I'm now in the process of choosing takes and making edits as needed. In the coming weeks the next step will be to send off the charts that the rhtyhm section and myself were able to record live, and have Derrick, John, Alan and the other guests play their parts and solos on remotely. It's a very different kind of project from what I've done previously. But for this context, and in this time, this felt like the best way to do it. It also allows us to bring togther great musicians from all over North America. I'm looking forward to keeping you posted on the project as it develops. Thanks for checking in and for being a part of my Artistshare poject!
"Jon is one of the greatest alto players ever"- Phil Woods
"Gordon has embraced the history of his instrument, carrying with it the ability to extend music as a universal language"- Wayne Shorter
"Not only a great soloist, but also possesses a gorgeous tone."- Kenny Washington
..."a masterful young altoist with a brilliant future ahead of him".- Joe Lovano
"One of the finest musicians of his generation and deserves a great deal more recognition than he has received from the jazz media."- Ken Dryden
4 + 1/2 Stars-"Gordon has created a multifaceted statement that invites repeated investigations. He's onto something important."- Down Beat