Puzzles (2014)

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cover.jpg

Puzzles (2014)

10.00

Released October 17, 2014

Steve Barry - piano, rhodes
Dave Jackson - alto saxophone
Alex Boneham - bass
Tim Firth - drums

All compositions © Steve Barry 2014 APRA|AMCOS
 

Audio format: mp3 320kbps

Recorded February 28 & 29 2014 at Pughouse Studios, Melbourne. 
Engineered by Niko Schauble. 
Mixed by Richie Belkner at Free Energy Device Studios, Sydney. 
Mastered by Nate Wood at Kerseboom Studios, New York City. 
Artwork by Steve Barry

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About

The stimulus for this recording was the prize I received at the National Jazz Awards in 2013, a part of which was a generous donation from Niko Schauble for day in his studio in Melbourne. The resulting album is a sort of mosaic of music - some written two years ago and some written in the weeks before the session - yet the pieces somehow come together as a unified, albeit kaleidoscopic puzzle. 


Harbinger
This piece evolved entirely from the opening chord of "Paradox of Choice" (a major 7 with a flattened ninth) into a sort of stand alone prelude. 

Paradox of Choice 
Sometimes having a lot of choice makes it harder to choose. 

Forge
A 16 bar cycle of chords based on stacked triads. 

Unsaid
Written for things left unsaid. 

Heraclitus’ Riverbed
I wrote this after reading Milan Kundera’s The Unbearable Lightness of Being, particularly in response to a part where Kundera discusses the idea that various objects or people in our lives carry different meanings at different times. The melody of the song evolves through a series of fairly different chord changes, while still retaining its initial essence. 

Epiphany

I wrote this melody sitting on a wall of the Fortezza Medicea in Siena, Italy at sunset looking out at the Tuscan fields during a couple of months traveling through Europe. 

Flux
Again, this tune is derived from an initial melodic idea which appears in different forms and contexts throughout the piece. 

Kanji
One morning I just finished a new tune before a rehearsal and quickly sketched it out for the rest of the band. It was so badly done that one of the guys commented the notation looked like Japanese characters…and named the tune in the process. 

Idyll
This is a fragment from a longer tune that seemed to fit nicely as a short feature for Tim. 

Cosmic Love Child
I’ve always loved playing standards. Cosmic is inspired by Lennie Tristano and the school of musicians that developed around him in New York during the 1950s and subsequently over future generations. It brings together two of my favourite standards, East of the Sun (and West of the Moon) and (very vaguely) George Shearing’s Conception. Here Dave and I close the album playing duo, sneaking around the changes before playing the melody out.