What Onomatopoeia Sounds Like

 Posted by on 22 June 2006 at 7:44 am  Uncategorized
Jun 222006

It can’t all be wrestling over philosophical issues — one of the other things that keeps me sane is playing sax in the local jazz scene.

I was working around town in a jazz-standards duo, and pianist/composer/producer Kevin Kirk heard me and quickly pulled me into Onomatopoeia, the instrumental band that brings his award-winning music to life. Print reviews described their first CD as, “rhythmically diverse, musically challenging and eminently listenable… a melding of rock, jazz, Latin, and classical, and it has surprises around every corner. This is not casual music.” Thr!ve magazine said their second CD, “showcases some of the best Boise’s jazz scene or any jazz scene has to offer: expert timing, daring, spontaneous scores, saturating instrumentals. Sheer talent aptly describes [this music] and decades of Kirk compositions.” What I know is that audiences seem to love the music, but internalizing 20 or 25 of Onomatopoeia’s mind-bending arrangements for my first concert with them — with no scores and only a few weeks’ evenings to pull it off — was the biggest strain my musical memory has ever faced! (Yes, I loved the challenge, and we earned an enthusiastic standing ovation.)

Those CDs were before my time, but I am on the new one we are about to release: Some Assembly Required. Recording with Onomatopoeia has been eye-opening — I really had no idea how much work goes into a project like this, and sometimes the process made it surprisingly difficult to pull off musical effects that would be automatic and easy on stage. (A lot of it has to do with the serialization of recording everything separately, which can be especially challenging for jazz guys who depend heavily on subtle, reciprocal realtime influences among all the players.) In any event, the mixed tracks have finally been sent off to the mastering engineer and it is about to be printed. Whew!

If you want to hear the kind of fun we have in Onomatopoeia, I put together a little sneak-preview CD “trailer” for family and friends who have been impatiently waiting for the CD they ordered a few months back at our last big concert (the concert program has some more pictures and personnel info).

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