This album was my follow up to Transparent Music which I recorded back in 1989. With my good friend and excellent musician / producer Guy Jackson we began work on this album in 2010, only 21 years in between it and Transparent Music 1!
The basic tracks for ‘Sublime 1’, ‘Sublime 2’ and ‘Country Vibe’ were all recorded on the first day Guy and I started working on this album; 2nd September 2010. A prolific day’s work considering it was all improvised on the spot.
‘First Resolve’ and ‘Free Air’ were recorded at Davy Spillane’s Burrenstone Studio in Ireland. Davy expressed an interest in recording with us and told us he was a huge fan of our first ‘Transparent Music’ CD. After work on our collaboration foundered, I became frustrated that the great music we had made might never see the light of day. Therefore we are particularly pleased that two tracks from our sessions with Davy have found their way on to this record. The original recording of ‘Monolith’ was somewhat overlong. With a lot of judicious editing, we were left with a track that was monolithically dense from beginning to end; hence the title.
I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to my dear friend Arve Henriksen, who fulfilled his promise of adding trumpet to one of my recordings. I can’t think of a more suitable framework for his improvisations or a more able improviser.
Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois’ ambient music series largely inspired our first ‘Transparent Music’ project. It is then not surprising that their pioneering use of the Omnichord should inspire us to find a use for it in our music. The otherworldly qualities of the Omnichord add a weird twist to the otherwise classic countriness of ‘Country Vibe’, the pop superficialness of ‘Star Day’, and helps to add the furtive to ‘Furtive Bliss’.
‘The Calm’ is one of three improvisations we recorded with the great slide guitarist Michael Messer. A meditation for slide & steel, earthy & ethereal. All recorded in one take with nothing added.
Our heartfelt thanks must also go to ALL the musicians that have contributed to this project. To Mo Foster for making ‘Sublime 2 The Great Bear’ his own with his eloquent fretless bass play- ing; to Jon Baker, Eddy Sayer and Al Cherry for their furtive and sometimes subliminal contributions to ‘Furtive Bliss’, and to Roy Dodds who’s drums would be missed if they weren’t there on ‘Country Vibe’ and ‘Star Day’. And lastly, and certainly not least, my old mate Bobby Valentino who’s twin fiddles add the crowning touch of authenticity to ‘Country Vibe’.