Some years back I put together this fantastic band to do one European tour. The music I conceived for us to play was a bit bizarre: I went back through all my music, everything I had ever written, and took a fragment from each. Sometimes it was a bass line, sometimes a harmony or a theme, or parts of those. Then I pasted them up in no particular order. The musicians could play any fragment in any key and in any tempo they chose. Now this does sound like a recipe for chaos, but when you have great improvisers, then it all somehow works out. As we got familiar with the 'roadmap' it melded together more and more - people would play a fragment together, but someone else would be playing a different fragment, at a different tempo, or key.
Oh, and, instead of playing acoustic drums, I played electronic drum pads.
Yes this was a bit crazy, but when we were in Vienna we went into a studio and recorded these tracks, which were never released. Here they are now.
released November 7, 2017
Steve Swallow: electric bass, Wayne Horvitz, fender rhodes piano, Brandon Ross, electric guitar, Mat Maneri, viola, Bobby Previte, electronic drums
Produced by Bobby Previte for Rank Hypocrisy
Executive Producers: Waltraud and Behrouz Rowhani
supported by 15 fans who also own “Counterclockwise: Fragments”
I really appreciate that with such a large group of musicians the overall sound and experience of listening is really spacious, never cluttered. The lovely recording helps that a lot, and of course the compositional aspects that make it breathe are superb- it gets more and more fun as I listen again and again. Jasper Skydecker