this is a 96 kHz recording
Epstein - alto sax Scott
Colley - bass Peter Erskine - drums
96 kHz Digital Recording January 27, 2001, from 18:00
Recorded with MA Recording`s custom made pair of line level microphones
Cables by Cardas Audio
For more than 2 years
MA Distribution in Japan has been importing and distributing the Fuzzy Music
label owned and produced by world famous jazz drummer, Peter Erskine. A congenial
relationship between Peter and MA producer, Todd Garfinkle, thus established,
led to the discussion of the creation of this record with Peter Erskine`s
Sax player Peter Epstein
suggested working with bass player, Scott Colley who has played with almost
everybody who is anybody in the US jazz scene, including most recently Herbie
Hancock and Jim Hall. The Trio was formed, but the recording date could not
be fixed, until by a stroke of luck, Peter Erskine found out that he was going
to be in NYC the last week of January, 2001 to work on pianist/singer Diana
Krall's new record.
It was decided that the recording could be successfully done in one relaxing
Saturday, the day after Peter Erskine`s sessions with Diana Krall were to
finish. BUT, halfway through the sessions with Krall, Erskine was asked to
be in the studio on that Saturday as well. It looked as though, the MA session
was going to have to be cancelled, but everyone thought, "well, let`s just
go for it anyway!" And, with one three hour rehearsal from 7 to 10 PM the
previous (Friday) night, and some creative scheduling, including the set up
of one of Erkine`s NYC based drum sets into the church in Chelsea "ahead of
time", when Peter Erskine arrived at 5:30 PM, everything was ready to go.
He just fine tuned his drums and the session started at 6 PM.
and of course, the incredible musicianship of the trio made for a remarkable
4 hour session of hot, but very kool sounding jazz, most of the tunes being
done in one take. Remember that "Kind of Blue" was done in 4 hours as well?
During email conversations
Peter Epstein mentioned to Peter Erskine that the session would have to be
done "old school", without much preparation or rehearsal, like in the 50`s
and 60`s. Hence, the title and of course the photo of the 50`s juke box on
the cover as well. MA is VERY proud to present to the world of jazz, OLD SCHOOL!
Here is the text of the liner notes for this record:
Can you remember when you first met and played with the other Peter on this
Peter and I first met when I was a student at CalArts. He came up to the school
to do a visiting artist seminar and we got to play together for a few minutes.
If I remember correctly, it was just a 12 bar blues, but what a memorable
blues it was. Of course, it felt incredible to play with someone on that level.
Afterwards, we talked a couple of times and Peter expressed a desire to work
together at some point. He also said that with his schedule, it might be years
before anything happened - it actually took 11 years. Time Flies!
Yes, I met Peter Epstein when he was a student at Cal Arts; I could tell from
the first note he played that I wanted to work with him for "real" in the
future ... you can always "tell" or spot a great musician in that short a
time ... I'm glad we got to make this recording in New York. In fact, I even
enjoyed the rehearsal almost as much as the recording, and I hate rehearsals!
Up to the time of this session, what has been the scope of your activities with
Scott? Please discuss how you see his approach to the music and his instrument?
Epstein: Scott and I also met through CalArts. Although he graduated
a couple years before I attended the school, we did meet and play a few times
when he was visiting. Since then, we have played together a number of times,
with my quartet at gigs in NYC and in one of trumpeter Ralph Alessi`s bands,
Once, when I went to hear
Ravi Coltrane's quartet, in which Scott was playing, I heard a fellow musician
approach Scott on a break and say, Man, it`s like drinking water from a well.
I could not have put it any better than that.
Erskine: I only knew Scott from sitting next to him in a restaurant
in Italy when he was on tour with Chris Potter's band, and I was on tour with
my trio. But I could also tell, just from our conversation, that we would have
a great time playing together. He's a wonderful bassist, and it felt entirely
natural to make music with him. He has an advanced knowledge of rhythm and harmony,
and his sensibilities felt very familiar to me when we played at this session
Colley: I met Peter Epstein shortly before I moved to NYC. I was
finishing my studies at CalArts and I think he was just beginning his work there.
Since then, we have done some gigs together in NYC and I have followed his progress;
and he has developed into an incredible musician and composer.
Peter Erskine is someone
whose music I have admired since first hearing recordings in high school. Playing
with him this first time was everything I thought it would be. He is incredibly
centred, combined with the ability to create a huge range of sound. I hope that
there will be many more opportunities to explore music together and that for
this trio, this is only the beginning.
Please discuss the title, Old School and the music and vibe on this record?
Epstein: I think the title reflects not so much the musical content
as the musical process that occured with this recording. The session was `Old
School` in the sense that we made this album in a way that was once very commonplace,
but now seems a bit like something from the past. We had very minimal preparation,
very minimal recording time, and everything was done in one room with a pair
of mics (which makes all MA Recordings `Old School` in a way). But, I don`t
view this as a liability at all. On the contrary, with the right combination
of musicians (Peter and Scott being about as `right` as it gets), such circumstances
create a heightened state of focus and intent which can even be more conducive
to good music-making than the more typical recording experience. Regardless
of whether a band has played together a thousand times, or just once, it should
sound neither over-rehearsed, nor like a jam session - the music should sound
alive and limitless. Hopefully for the listener, we got to some of that.....
Erskine: This type of recording process reveals the musician within
better than any other type, and if the players are up to the job, it can be
a great experience. This was a great experience. I rushed to the church directly
from my final session for the new Diana Krall album, which was originally not
scheduled for that day. Instead of our having an entire day in the church, we
had 4 hours to get sounds and complete a recording. The trio did not disappoint
... everyone's concentration and energies and spirit were all "right there,"
the room had a beautiful sound, and we played, without headphones and without
pretence, the music we want to hear. I think this is a most special recording,
and I am enjoying the aftertaste of listening to it, over and over again.