mercredi 30 septembre 2009

Pigpen : "Daylight"

(Tim/Kerr, 1997)

I had been living in Seattle a short time when Jerry Granelli, the great drummer, who was teaching at Cornish at the time, called me up. He was making a record with Anthony Cox, Bill Frisell, Robben Ford and Kenny Garrett and he wanted me to write an arrangement or two. He was thinking about the book Coming Through Slaughter, the great novel about Buddy Bolden, so I wrote a tune for him called In That Number. The tune was a bit tricky, so Jerry asked if he could come over with a couple of local guys and rehearse it ahead of time, since the “real” band wouldn’t be arriving until the day of the recording. He arrived with Phil Sparks, a Seattle bass player I have worked with many times since, and Briggan Krauss, who arrived with blue hair as I recall. Briggan and I became fast friends. I was and still am a huge fan of his alto playing, and I think that he may have the most original concept on the alto of anyone of his generation. Through Briggan, I met a whole crew of folks that were going to Cornish at the time, all of whom became musical partners in time…Tim Young, Geoff Harper, Mike Stone, Eyvind Kang, Reggie Watts and more.
I met Fred Chalenor through Fred Frith and Amy Denio, and he was floating between Portland and Seattle. He had been the last bass player in The President, and I was ready to put that band to rest and start something based in my new hometown. Briggan recommended Mke Stone. Musically, Pigpen was influenced by my tenure in Naked City, and my long time association with John Zorn more than any other project I have ever had. Actually I take that back – it was Naked City, and not my long time association with John. I played piano in jazz and blues bands, but keyboards and organ for me were mostly instruments I had come to use in more open situations. I had developed a language that I was very comfortable with, but in Naked City I was called upon to play keys on all styles of music, often following some stellar solo by Frisell, and on a DX-7 to boot. By the time the band broke up I felt I was just getting the hang of it. Also we had so many tunes that we often didn’t get a chance to dig into any of them, which was a blast, but also very challenging. So when I started writing for Pigpen I wanted to keep working on these challenges, and I also had in mind the aesthetic of the other guys in the band, and especially Mike and Briggan who were very young.
I found this generation curious (they were all about 15 years my junior) because they were very literate about jazz through Coltrane, and familiar with current trends at the time, including my own work and other “downtown scene” types, but they tended not to know a lot about the AACM, Art Ensemble, Cecil Taylor, or for that matter all the important Dutch, English and other international improvisers. Also we came from two very different eras of rock music, so I was suddenly surrounded by Black Sabbath and AC/DC fans. Mike Stone was particularly well versed in this milieu, having grown up in Bremerton WA, home to the naval base. When he conjured up the spirits of what he so eloquently termed “butt-rock” it rang true in a way that many similar attempts by various jazz drummers sometimes didn’t.
We made an EP, 2 full length CDs and a live CD for Tim Kerr – Halfrack, Miss Ann, Daylight, and Live in Poland. We also did a 7 inch for Tim Kerr, and V as in Victim for the AVANT label. Pigpen performed a few European tours, and some gigs on the East Coast, but mostly we played in the Northwest and down into California.
Over time the Naked City influence seemed to wear away and I think both Miss Ann and Daylight really represent my favorite work the band did, although a lot of fans are especially fond of Live In Poland. My daughter’s favorite track is Kind of Dead which is the A side of the 7”. The piece used a sample from the first Grateful Dead album and some chords from Kind of Blue…hence the title.
And yes, PIGPEN was named for the keyboard player in the Grateful Dead.

by Wayne Horvitz himself on his blog.


4 commentaires:

Anonyme a dit…

so much great music, and so few comments - it's not really in balance, i think.

merci for many ear jewels i heard, and also a few i was eager to listen to, which fell flat at the end. the mm with guy certainly would be nice, but i restricted myself to oop stuff, to keep my soul clean - and my harddrive workable.

all the best to you, from
lucky :D

Zipangu a dit…

Entirely with you, Lucky man (I hope) ! Sometimes, some albums don't correspond to us for different reasons...
And don't worry, I think it's approximaltely appreciated even without comments ! You know, myself, I can listen excellent music elsewhere and I don't take the time to write something !

Anonyme a dit…

thanks! great post.

i've been hunting around a lot lately for wayne horvitz stuff, particularly the early President records. stuff that i've had on vinyl for years, but not digital.

if you have any of that stuff laying around that you'd like to post, that would be great.

again, thanks and nice work.

E-mile a dit…

ahum, thought I had about everthing from Pig Pen...not !!! (so this one proves) I also completed Zony Mash, so, Zipangu, if you're interested in that let me know. thanks for the plug in your roll btw [:-)
peace, E-mile