1. Limited Impossibilities (1:55) IL2
2. Bid For Legitimacy (6:15) IL1
3. Purple Cabbage Moments (6:07) IL2
4. Coronal Mass Ejection, Part 1 (1:35) IL2
5. Music Of Ghosts (7:23) IL1
6. Coronal Mass Ejection, Part 2 (1:37) IL3
7. Fully Implemented (10:26) IL2
8. Tiny Maracas (2:32) IL2
9. Accide To Decept (17:45) IL2
10. The Last Egg (1:15) IL2
1. Limited Impossibilities (IL2)
(HS): I really love the ethereal feeling we got here. I would have liked to continue this piece for a bit longer, but at the time I felt that my luck playing the kalimba with a minimum of bum notes was about to run out, so I think we were right to end it where we did.
(GS): This one just seems to float. It’s one of the only things if not the only one, I can’t remember right off that we managed to do using the recorders miked through the pedalboard into the amp. I have done this many times going direct, but the amp proved to be a real problem. We kept getting the bad kind of feedback unless we kept the volume down to almost nothing. Even taking the mic out of the room didn’t help. Luckily we got this down before giving up on the idea.
2. Bid For Legitimacy (IL1)
(HS): During these sessions I was consciously trying to get different sounds out of my drumset, so on this piece I used a pair of Hot Rods (bundled dowels) instead of sticks, and I was really slammin’ the kit with ‘em. The Hot Rods give a looser feel than sticks, and I really like the difference in attack. Greg picked-up on my rhythmic feel right from the beginning (one of many times that I think his also being a drummer really shows in the music), and we’re locked-in really tightly all through the piece. (The guitar squeals on the 4th beat of each bar, beginning at 4:50 are a great example of this.) The guitar/delay passage that Greg begins at 5:09 is absolutely incredible. Oh, by the way, the decrease in guitar volume at 1:03 was done by Greg during the performance, showing how a good musician always listens.
(GS): Volume pedal don’t leave home without it. It’s not always easy to tell where your level is in relation to another player, and pretty close to impossible to know how what you hear in the room is translating to tape. The only thing you can do is go by what you hear, adjust as necessary, and hope for the best. It’s a huge incentive to be volume-conscious when you’re working with another musician who listens, and who does consistently good and interesting things that you’d never want to cover up. Funny, but as with “Laydown Delivery”, it’s Hyam’s playing that makes this piece for me. One of the things I like best about Jugalbandi is that it illustrates that freedom, ego, and symbiosis can all be present at once if you put the music first.
3. Purple Cabbage Moments (IL2)
(HS): My favorite part of this is that it starts-out being one piece and then at 2:13 it totally morphs into a different take on the same musical statement. Two sides of the same coin in the same piece. The title comes from an incident that happened when my wife, Shelley, and I were first dating. We were talking while sharing Chinese chicken salad at a Chinese restaurant, and after a few minutes I looked down at the table and noticed that both of us had little piles of purple cabbage on our plates that we had picked-out of our salads. One of many things that made me feel we were meant for each other.
(GS): When Hyam first suggested we call this one “Purple Cabbage Moments”, I was puzzled. I hadn’t really liked the title at first because I thought it was a reference to the vegetable’s flatulence producing qualities and I thought we could do better than that for one of our prettier melodic pieces. But when he explained the story to me, as he’s done above, it all fit and I was sold.
4. Coronal Mass Ejection, Part 1 (IL2)
(HS): Greg was playing through an effect that delayed his sound by many seconds, so what I was seeing him play was not what I was hearing from his amp at that moment. (Greg can explain exactly what he was doing better than I can.) Regardless, it made for some interesting ‘delayed interplay’ between us. We did two versions; both were sufficiently different from each other to warrant inclusion on this disc.
(GS): During my 2003 solo sessions, I had the opportunity to explore my equipment in depth for the first time, in the case of many items. One of those was the long delay unit that saved my ass in 2000 when my faithful EH 16-second died (later to be resurrected, hallelujah!). Beyond its looping capabilities, it has a slew of other delay types in there, and one of them is this backwards setting. It’s a little weird to play because, as Hyam mentioned, what I’m visibly doing and what sounds come out don’t synch up at all. I think he rose well to the challenge both times in totally different ways. I like the sort of Tony Williams fullness his playing has here.
5. Music Of Ghosts (IL1)
(HS): The bowed device seems to sound best when I play things of a more textural, rather than a rhythmical nature, so when I saw Greg with it I picked-up my tympani mallets and tried to paint colors with the drumset. At the 6/4 section that begins right at 6:00 you can really hear just how much Greg and I were locked-onto the same musical track. Of all the pieces we recorded during the five-day session, this is the one that most inspires me to go on a mental journey filled with strange visuals. The click you hear at 1:28 is a glitch on the master. Sorry ‘bout that, but them’s the risks of capturing live performances.
(GS): Live bowed device! See, it can survive outside the seemingly sterile confines of a multitrack setting. You get to hear a bit of the range of the instrument here, beyond the more readily identified bowing sounds. For example that clicking, rattlesnake type sound that comes in around 5:00 is made by loosening the screw that holds the whammy bar to the assembly and shaking everything around (with rhythmic precision, of course!). Hyam’s playing is indeed very textural/orchestral, once again proving how many sounds you can get out of a drum kit- if you have the imagination to do it.
6. Coronal Mass Ejection, Part 2 (IL3)
(HS): Instead of playing on the whole kit as I did on Part 1, this time I decided to use nothing but the bass drums, and I like the results even more than Part 1.
(GS): I think I have a slight preference for the full cymbal sounds on Pt 1, but that’s my perverse conservative side making one of its brief appearances- this approach is really imaginative, and very well played. Probably most importantly, it’s something I never would have thought of. Amazing but true: you can still learn new things from someone even after 15 years.
7. Fully Implemented (IL2)
(HS): A straight fusion jam that starts-out in 6/4 time, just to be a little different. It stays strictly in that meter until 7:25, where all of a sudden I hit the brakes and pull it down into a nice 6/8 shuffle. Of course, Greg’s work on the 7-string’s lower frets keeps a menacing tone on things. I love the sound of Greg’s 7-string Strat lots of wonderful, low, “growly” sort of sounds emanate wildly from the amp whenever Greg picks-up that axe. Most electric guitarists spend all their time in the higher registers; Greg is one of the few (Jeff Beck also comes to mind) who likes to explore the instrument’s lower reaches as well. The fade-out at the ending was accomplished completely during the performance. I didn’t touch the volume controls while mastering this track.
(GS): The opening riff idea that chugga-chugga rhythm was actually Hyam’s. He explained what he wanted me to do and we just sort of went from there. I thought, and still think, it’s a great basis for a piece.
8. Tiny Maracas (IL2)
(HS): Whenever they need an egg slicer player at the Portland Symphony the union calls Greg. Some great virtuoso slicer work in here.
(GS): A frenzied raid on the kitchen drawers at Mahoozie Manor produced a handful of mini sleighbells and of course an egg slicer. (I’d unfortunately left mine at home. I’m not kidding.) I figured Hyam wouldn’t really be able to hear the egg slicer too well while we were playing actually, neither could I, but of course I could feel it and I looked forward to hearing how things “set” along with Hyam’s energetic tabla work when we played the tape back. Obviously the verdict was favorable. Kitchens and hardware stores, very musician-friendly.
9. Accide To Decept (IL2)
(HS): This begins with a snippet of a kalimba loop, which is the only part of the piece planned in advance (otherwise it’s an IL1). I spend the first couple of minutes on the cymbals while Greg plays very sparsely, using the volume pedal to great effect. After this there’s an excruciatingly long build-up until we finally hit full-throttle at 7:29 with the Chinese cymbal explosion and Greg’s terrific, distorted lower-register playing. After that it’s another trip to fusion jam land, but with lots of twists and turns. The passage at 12:12 thrills me every time I hear it, as does the way things just seem to ‘float back to Earth’ starting at 13:45. As with “Fully Implemented”, the fade-out at the end was done during the performance.
(GS): I like Hyam’s description very much and can’t seem to add much to it. One thing: the kalimba loop is left over from a previous piece; we let it play for a minute, I unlocked it and let it fade into nothing, and we just tried to build it from there.
10. The Last Egg (IL2)
(HS): I’m playing the kalimba with a pair of hard rubber mallets. Single notes = good; rolls = not so good. Part of the fun of experimenting.
(GS): The “Sleep Box” is making that windy coastline sound in the background. It’s basically a little electronic gadget designed to make soothing sound that will lull you peacefully to sleep in a sort of clean, new age way. And when you think of that, what else comes to mind but Jugalbandi? So of course we had to use it.