Gold Sounds (2005)
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about the album
This album sprang from one question: what album would we want to buy which doesn’t exist? Sort of like the idea behind fantasy sports leagues applied to music. First came the lineup selection. In summer 2003, we went to see a benefit concert at the Apollo Theater. Wynton Marsalis’ band backed music superstars like Eric Clapton, Ray Charles, Woillie Nelson, B.B. King, Lou Donaldson and Wynton himself. On bass that night was Reginald Veal, whose versatility and virtuosity stood out in a galaxy of music stars on that stage. For our money he is the finest bassist in the world. We knew we had to have him. Cyrus Chestnut has created the most consistent catalog of jazz records of anybody from the early-1990s on. “Revelations”, “Earth Stories”, “The Dark Before the Dawn” and “Soul Food” would have rivaled Monk’s and Powell’s output in cultural impact if jazz still registered on the cultural seismograph. James arter is simply John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler rolled into one. He is a GIANT of his instrument, and perhaps the finest pound-for-pound musician in his prime. People who know musicianship know that when JC is on the set, all the possibilities which the greatest music opens up bubble over. Ali Jackson, a studious yet athletic drummer, is the youngest of the group, who we chose for his enthusiasm as well as his chops, and someone to take a backseat to the other, more seasoned members of the quartet. Ali also proved to be the secret weapon of these sessions. Listen to every note of percussion he played on this record, from shakers to cymables to snares. He did not hit a wrong beat. As for the source material for the album, we chose Pavement’s songbook because since “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” we have been avid fans. When you cut trhough the band’s imager as hipsters or slackers and just examine the songs, what is left is the finest collection of tunes of any rock/pop band since R.E.M.’s heyday. And, the lo-fi nature of their recordings left much room for this quartet to bring out the siny melodies and up the musical ante of the performances. There you have it, simple as that. Enjoy.
-Alan Suback, NYC, January 2005