The following is a set of liner notes that provide some "composer's insight" on each track. Since they didn't make it with the CD, they were included on the web site as a bonus for those who already have a copy and as an "inspiration to purchase" for those who haven't! Enjoy! -Rafe
- Mogul: The main theme of this piece came to me while I was skiing with my aunt & uncle during a visit to their place in Utah. The arrangement heard here came several years later. I wanted to portray the movements involved when hitting the slopes. When it comes to providing a sense of action, very little music does it better than the Merrie Melodies of the classic Warner Bros. Looney Toons. I like to think of this tune as a tribute to the two musicians responsible for most of the Merrie Melodies' themes and arrangements: Raymond Scott and Carl Stalling.
- By the Case: This tune came to me during one of my many experiences behind a cart navigating the canyons of wholesale at Sam's Club. These experiences have proven to be the inspiration for several other tunes as well, thus this is the first installment of what I am titling the "Wholesale Series". Stay tuned for more...
- Weekend with Othello: Shortly after Julie and I moved to Minnesota, Julie went out of town one weekend on a work related trip. This was the first time that her pet cat Othello and I had spent alone for an extended period of time. The first theme came to my head during that weekend and the rest at a later date. Othello is a very vocal cat which adds much drama to the household and his life. (a.k.a.: he's spoiled!) This tune is a representation of four important phases during Othello's daily routines: the wake up phase after one of his frequent cat naps; the demanding phase (the objects of his demands vary greatly depending on localized stimuli!); the desperate, melodramatic, begging phase that develops when he realizes that neither Julie nor I are paying much attention; and then the "bouncing-of-the-walls" phase which involves him bolting around the house and leaping onto furniture, many times running head first into the wall. I'll let you figure out which section is what.
- Joteve (pronounced joteev): The main bass line on this tune came to me after hearing a song by King Sunny Ade, a leader in a style of music from north Africa called juju. Much of the music from this region has many different things going on in a way that supports the integrity of the tune. You'll hear a very simple attempt of that here. It was one of my first attempts at incorporating an odd rhythmic meter without making it feel unnatural. For those who feel so inclined, tap your feet to the A sections while counting and you'll see what I mean. I kept the horn lines simple in this section so as not to detract from the bass line. During the bridge, they stay simple with the middle part providing the melodic movement. Another bass theme is introduced during the alto solo that leads up to the climax of the tune and then returns to the original, more subdued feel. The title was created by combining the names of two friends that I've known since childhood.
- Kind of Intrinsic: This tune was written almost ten years ago and is one of my strongest. It has a definite feel of a tune by the incomparable Thelonious Monk, a big influence of mine, but it was also inspired by many hours of listening to a great album by a more contemporary jazz musician, Crazy People Music by Branford Marsalis. It has proven to be a great warm up tune because it manages to hit every tonal key by the time it's done.
- Qué Pasa, Bossa?: America is notorious for taking aspects of foreign cultures and homogenizing them to a point where they lose their original identities. As seen by the title (What's up, boss?), this tune is a musical parody of America's questionable adaptation habits. If you know anything about Latin rhythmic styles, you can hear that this tune is not anywhere close to a bossa nova. I would call it a frantic gringo attempt to play a Latin groove that finally gives up and breaks into a good old American swing.
- Innocence of Autumn: One of the things that has always fascinated me the most about music is it's relationship with time, rhythmic meters in particular. I have marveled at musicians who are able to integrate odd meters into their tunes in a way that doesn't feel out of character. I am particularly fond of this tune as a composition simply because I was able to compose a melody that integrates a set of mixed rhythmic meters without making it feel overly contrived. This tune plays through my head quite often. The title comes from the sense of resentment that I had always felt towards fall when it rolled around because school was starting and winter was around the corner. As I became older, I realized that it wasn't autumn's fault that I had feelings of resentment.
- Business Reply Mail: I'm sure you have experienced it: you pick up a magazine, thumb through the pages when all of a sudden you run into one of those pesky subscription cards that say "business reply mail." It falls out onto the floor and you have to stop your reading to pick it up and throw it away. This tune is a tribute to all of you who experience this several times during the course of reading a single magazine. The tune starts out well enough until the drum solo comes along and interrupts it. I guess it's all part of the experience.
- Twilight in Blue: This was written a little over a year ago when there were a lot of changes going on in my life, most of which were new beginnings for others. Even though my friends (including my brother & his fiancée) were moving on to new and exciting things in their lives, I was still sad to see them go. It was originally written with a slow blues feel, but the band wanted to try playing it at a faster tempo with an Afro-Cuban feel, so we tried it and the rest is history.
- Julie Dancing Eyes: A tune for my wife Julie who has unselfishly ensured that I am able to dedicate a portion of my time to my music. I wanted it to evoke all of her quirks and idiosyncrasies that I have come to love so dearly. And if was going to get away with writing a tune for the cat....