They say time is the healer, but, you know, it tends to take a while. For me, the better option has always been music, which I guess is why late in the summer of last year when I was feeling, say, less than my best, I decided I’d make a record.
I picked up my laptop and wrote an email to a few of my favorite people, musicians I loved playing with but didn't get to very often: Cody McKinney, a bass player whose melodic sense is second-to-none; Jeremy Ylvisaker, the epitome of a fearless musician; DeVon Gray, the truest steward of art I know. I didn't have an idea of what music to play, so I proposed something I rarely get to do—gathering for a “writing” session of improvisation and constructing an album based on the themes we invent. I hit “send” and waited.
Well, those suckers all agreed it was a grand idea, so a few months later we hauled our favorite instruments to The Pearl Recording Studio here in Minneapolis and two days after that I was sifting through hours of music. The biggest surprise for me wasn't how much fun the session was, or how much material we recorded—lots and lots, respectively—but how complete most of it sounded. I don't know what molecules fall into place to have a timeline of music considered a song, versus a stream of silly ideas, but turns out there's a surprising amount of both hiding in here.
So! Schedules and money being what they are, it’s taking a little time to record the initial concept of composed music born from the therapy of improvisation. In the meantime, though, we’re releasing the little gems from our initial recording sessions as we find them. Here’s our first, accompanied by a sweet and determined anthropomorphic snowman. It’s apropos for the season! It also makes me feel better about the future somehow.