06 October 2004

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As soon as I got back to Chicago I went headlong into the work of completing the new material for the Territory Band-4, finishing up compositions and arrangements and spending days copying out parts with the huge assistance of Nate McBride – without his help the music wouldn’t have been done in time for the project to start. This time the lineup included Jeb Bishop and Axel Doerner on brass; Fredrik Ljungkvist, Dave Rempis, and myself on reeds; Paul Lytton and Paal Nilssen-Love on percussion; Kent Kessler and Fred Lonberg-Holm on strings; Jim Baker on piano; and Lasse Marhaug on electronics. The progress of the music and the development of the band over the course of 4 days of rehearsal, 2 concerts (Milwaukee and Chicago), and 2 days in the studio (at Wall To Wall with Bob Weston) was astounding – the energy level and communication we captured on the recording session was incredible. The music will be mixed in the first half of next year for release in the fall, in time for a tour with the group in Europe during October 2005. One of my primary goals is to get this ensemble together each year, working and recording. It looks like between this year’s project and the work ahead I’ll be able to keep it moving for a good while yet.

In addition to the work and concerts with the Territory Band, I got to perform in a couple of other great settings during the second half of September. The first was sitting in with the Ex for a couple of songs during their concert in Chicago. Getting to play with them was a real honor, and I was struck by how open their music felt, leaving me so many options during the performance. What an incredible group, a testament to creative action as a positive force. I’m already looking forward to participating in their anniversary party at the Paradiso in Amsterdam this November, playing with Free Fall, and a sextet with Mats Gustafsson, Andy and Terrie Ex, Paul Lovens and Tony Buck, also spinning funk and soul records one of the nights, online pharmacy plus all the other amazing events they’ve got planned!

The other gig during this period was a duo with Paal Nilssen-Love at the Adventures In Modern Music Festival at the Empty Bottle. As usual, Paal nearly burned the place down, and almost buried me alive in an avalanche of sound and ideas. If I can hold onto the force of his playing for the length of our concerts I feel pretty good, and after the heavy weight of the Sonore concerts I thought I was pretty prepared to face Paal’s assault, but how can you get ready for that guy’s intensity?

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