I am thrilled at the support this week for our album, ESCAPISM! #8 on the JazzWeek chart (that posted March 8/Women’s Appreciation Day!), and #8 on the ZMR chart too! That is so wonderful! Thank you very much! We are appreciative of this encouraging news. Thank you!
The photo above is of my new studio in the breakfast nook of my new (but vintage) home a short walk from the beach in Malibu, and close by hiking in the Santa Monica Mountains – this is where all the ESCAPISM music was composed and developed from May-August last year. Just before I moved in May, I already had done the little embryos of the tunes, but the actual development of the compositions, and all the coloring, happened in a fairly short time last summer. You can barely make out the iconic shot of Miles Davis on the left in a photo by my friend Ken Franckling, and you can’t quite see another classic shot of Monk at Monterey Jazz fest at the top of the bookshelves, (filled with music books and jazz musician bios). Miles is my muse that represents soul, innovation, and perhaps perseverance. Monk is my muse of hard work (since he’s sweating at the piano), creativity, and someone I consider to be a piano giant. You also can’t quite see photos of me with the classical giants of today: pianists/friends Yuja Wang and Lang Lang. All the books and music books represent the greatest composers in the world from Bach to Bartok to Basie. On the right is a painting by an ex of mine, and 2 black & white photos (nudes) I took in college when I was an art student. It looks a bit messy because it’s a work day and I had just moved in. You can see the ferns and tropical foliage that influenced Hot Summer Samba – originally that tune was going to be a slow blues, but it was a gorgeous summer day, the AC wasn’t working and somehow, the song just moved itself into a hot Latin number! The view that I have in the opposite direction inspired Zero Gravity – just this feeling of summer at it’s best – a floating feeling inspired by palm trees.
Sitting in my new studio, filled with the lightness of summer, I wanted to create music that would lift spirits around the globe – to remember that beauty is still everywhere if only we can remember to look. That by lifting listeners energy maybe we can communicate the strength and goodness that cannot ever be taken from us. This is where the tracks from ESCAPISM were developed. I wanted a way to capture the great energy I was feeling and communicate it to others, so they can feel uplift too and bring that into their lives. It’s just amazing and really cool that so many people have embraced the album. (In fact, I am hoping that ESCAPISM will be the OFFICIAL JAZZ ALBUM of SPRING BREAK this year! Hah!) To me, sitting there at my piano IS Spring Break – it’s ESCAPISM or the ultimate vacay even. I start with a little melody, or perhaps a groove and then add a little bit and a little more, and a few hours later I return from what feels like a visit far, far away – all while sitting with my piano in a breakfast nook! In August I took the music to Avatar studio with my long time friends Gregg August, Rudy Royston and of course JD Allen. I explained each tune and the energy and inspiration and then we recorded – no rehearsal ever – a la Miles Davis. But I’m always a bit nervous – what will they think of these new tunes – my new “babies”? (And I am asking them to play a waltz on Zero Gravity even!) Of course they are professional and won’t comment, but ….?? A recording studio is not the place for indecision or insecurity though, it’s the place for committing to the ideas and creating the leadership to create great music, while hoping for the best. When we where done, what was their favorite piece? Zero Gravity – yep – the waltz!
Thank you for the support and wishing you a great week!