For Us, The Living II: Marcescence - Released April 1st, 2018
Today, April 1st, is the 'official' release date for my second album. 🎉
I'll thank you in advance for the inevitable congratulations - I am fortunate to have kind internet friends, I do appreciate the sentiment very much.
April Fools seemed as fitting of a release date as any - release dates being mostly arbitrary vestiges of a once-existent jazz industry. The title of my album is Marcescence. Marcescence refers to when leaves die and wither upon a tree but do not fall off - My own semi-private joke about how it feels to study, practice and perform original acoustic music. I don't mean to be overly-bitter, but having a dark sense of humor seems to help with being a musician these days.
It's four years to the day since my first album released - It took over two full years to make this album. I wanted something I could keep going back to and work on until I felt it was done, rather than lining up a day in the studio and hoping for the best. (And why limit the self-deprecating torture of hearing yourself play to a single session when you can stretch it out for months?)
A lot of thought and production went into the album, but at the core of it, it is a duo album with my friend and pianist Julian Shore. While I am constantly in doubt of my own abilities and ideas, I trust Julian's taste and ears more than most things in my world. Rogerio Boccato was kind enough to add his percussion to the tracks that required more than I initially could foresee. Michael Perez-Cisneros is the first person to ever capture the sound of my saxophone in a way that matches what I want to hear in my head, the audio quality and sound of this album makes me as proud as the performance on it.
As with my first album, I recorded compositions I've collected from living composers. A couple of my own ideas, but mostly those of other people who write beautiful music that doesn't get heard as much as it could. I like the idea of recording, or re-recording others' works - Why must jazz artists all write AND compose? One could spend a lifetime dedicated to either pursuit.
I was recently interviewed by a journalist for an upcoming article in Downbeat Magazine about being an independent/DIY musician. So I've spent a lot of time thinking about the last 15 years I've spent in New York City working as a musician and damn near every other aspect of the music business as well. Many people marvel at my Jack of All Trades abilities - Web designer, production assistant, arranger, tech support, interviewer, graphic designer, composer, consultant, teacher, administrator, product specialist, saxophonist, editor, band leader, record label manager, crowd funding planner, distribution/shipping lackie - I would give it all up to be master of one - and am slowly shedding the parts I am fortunate to not need anymore. This history and ability to see so many different facets of music has just made me want to do something different with my output.
There is no Kickstarter. This album won't be on iTunes, Spotify, Apple Music, or Amazon. There aren't really liner notes. I sent it to only the few reviewers I respect or who were kind enough to listen to my last album. I won't be posting outside of my own site the inevitably positive reviews (has anyone read a jazz review that was incredibly negative recently?), and I won't boast to you how well its doing on the radio (although this I am actually genuinely optimistic and thankful for).
You can hear the album on my website. I don't expect you all to buy it, but as I said of my last album, if you think its good, buy it for a friend. This album will not reach the far corners of the universe, but I will be pleased if the people who appreciate beautiful sounds made with acoustic instruments hear and enjoy the album.
For those of you that made it this far, I invite you to my performance at the Cornelia St Cafe in New York City to celebrate the new work. Ingrid Jensen is kind enough to lend her beautiful sound as a special guest on Wednesday April 18th.