Three Men in a Boat
Jim Tisdall, guitar David Bromberg, guitar (except Cousin Mary, NBA, Summertime) Tyrone Brown, bass (except Summertime) Here's the lowdown: three men playing acoustic American music, nothing that don't come easy, just floating along ... pick the songs, make some arrangements, and then everybody improvise. And there you are, aren't you? Produced and arranged by Jim Tisdall Engineered and mixed by Daoud Shaw Recorded at Radio Active Productions, December 2007 Mastered by Allan Tucker at Foothill Digital, New York City Cover and additional art by Clare Crines Packaging design: Christina Galbiati Photography by Daoud Shaw David Bromberg appears courtesy of Appleseed Recordings. Jim Tisdall plays a Collings D1AV Guitar. David Bromberg plays a Martin M-42 David Bromberg Signature Edition Guitar with Elixir® Strings. Tyrone Brown plays a Pollmann Acoustic Bass with Obligato Strings by Pirastro. David is on the left channel and Jim is on the right channel. Dedicated to my brother Thomas Tisdall, known in Kansas City as radio DJ Thom Walsh, for taking me to 12th Street and Vine; and to Wilbert Harrison for pointing out that destination and for giving David Bromberg a good job. Thanks to all who joined with me in the creation of this music, especially David Bromberg, Ty Brown, Daoud Shaw, Chuck Anderson, and Allan Tucker. Special thanks to my teachers Chuck Anderson, Dennis Sandole, and Max Mathews. Thanks also to Steve Allen, Clare Crines, Lindsey Flexner, Christina Galbiati, John and Hope Keawe, Ted Klein, Will Krespan, Jeremy Leipzig, Xiao-Yi Li, Timothy Moxey, Jim Querry, Randy Sutin, Tom Taylor, and Joe Tisdall. The Songs Moten Swing (5:04) (Bennie and Buster Moten) I first heard this song on an old 50's LP by guitarist Barney Kessel. It was the theme song of the classic 1930's Kansas City swing band in which Count Basie served his apprenticeship, and the Count later adopted it as the theme song for his own band. Not to Mention the Dog (4:01) (Jim Tisdall) This blues was inspired by the traditional blues song Sportin' Life, which has many variants and a long history. In the version I learned as a kid, the singer laments his wayward ways, recalls his mother's prayers, and resolves to settle down. My title, for this slightly reworked version of the chords, is also the subtitle of Jerome K. Jerome's book Three Men in a Boat. (And in case you're wondering, the "K." stands for Jerome.) NBA (4:39) (Jim Tisdall) I wrote this song after watching a slow-motion replay in a basketball game. I used to perform it in a jazz fusion band I had in NYC. It's gradually morphed from a modernistic straight-eighths piece into a swing feel. Here it's Ty's game! I particularly love the way that Ty solos while simultaneously keeping the theme up front, all the while communicating a deep sense of space. Blue Monk (6:23) (Thelonious Sphere Monk) A deceptively simple jazz blues by the incomparable Monk. I always used to play it at a brisk tempo. When we sat down and I told the guys I wanted to do it, Bromberg's eyes lit up and he said "I know this one!" The slow burn you find here is the result. Thanks David. I wrote in a bass solo section between verses to, well, have a few bass solos. Thanks Ty. Cousin Mary (2:11) (John Coltrane) Coltrane has been my main musical inspiration since I first heard A Love Supreme as a kid. Later I had the singular pleasure of studying guitar with his teacher Dennis Sandole, who had great anecdotes about his famous student. This tune from the Giant Steps album is a straight-ahead up-tempo jazz blues, with Ty setting the pace. Summertime (3:36) (George and Ira Gershwin, DuBose Heyward) The universally loved Gershwin standard from his opera Porgy and Bess. The morning of the recording session, I heard an old favorite on the radio, Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, and one of the main themes from that appears in my improvisation. You Don't Know Me (5:03) (Cindy Walker and Eddy Arnold) This country standard appeared on the seminal Ray Charles LP Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music. Chuck Anderson conceived the re-harmonization that we use here. You and Me Behind the Tree (4:16) (Jim Tisdall) I wrote this waltz thinking of Bromberg's work with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. The title is a far-out wig stretch of the beatnik comic Lord Buckley. Oh, Lady, Be Good! (3:49) (George and Ira Gershwin) I love the lyrics to this song. To hear the original song in it's entirety and at it's intended slow, graceful, even comic tempo, get Ella Fitzgerald's Oh, Lady, Be Good! Best of the Gershwin Song Book. The version here is a more typical jazz band treatment, up-tempo and eliminating the verse. Georgia on my Mind (4:30) (Hoagie Carmichael) This standard tune is best known in the version by Ray Charles from his Modern Sounds in Country & Western Music. I love this song: deeply felt, emotional, simple yet with very interesting twists, a blues-based song with a touch of classical art added in, and always the sound of Ray Charles in your head whenever you play it. Miracle Breakthrough (4:02) (Jim Tisdall) This is a slow blues, two minor verses resolved by a final major verse. (The tonality is in A, so the title is a pun on cliches: A minor miracle, A major breakthrough.) I wrote this because I wanted to hear David go from minor to major blues. I think you'll like hearing the results. His ending is perfect too, for the song and the set. The Musicians Jim Tisdall Jim Tisdall is a guitarist living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has appeared solo and with his own bands, and played with various artists including Nico (of the Velvet Underground), the James Cotton Blues Band, the Berlin rockers 17 Hippies, and electric guitar innovator Allan Gittler, among others. He also worked at Bell Labs on digital sound and electronic violins with the inventor of digital music Max Mathews, taught at the Settlement Music School, and was a session player, sideman, and teacher in NYC, LA, and Tennessee. David Bromberg David Bromberg's 2007 CD Try Me One More Time was nominated for a Grammy award. He performs solo, with his quartet and big band, with the Angel Band, and in concert with a wide variety of artists. He has released several albums on Columbia, Fantasy, and Appleseed, and has appeared on over a hundred albums with artists such as Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, the Grateful Dead, and the Eagles, to name a few. He is an authority on American violins and has lectured at the Smithsonian Institution. Tyrone Brown Bassist, composer, arranger and educator Tyrone Brown played bass with the pioneering jazz drummer Max Roach for twenty years. In addition to his own albums, he has appeared on well over a hundred others including six with Max Roach, five with Grover Washington, Jr., and four with jazz guitarist Pat Martino. He has received many grants and commissions, appeared as a guest artist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, and performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Lou Rawls, Johnny Hartman, and Benny Golson, to name just a few. Behind the Scenes Daoud Shaw Our engineer/mixer Daoud Shaw is a percussionist, producer, and recording engineer, and has appeared on numerous albums. He was a band member with Van Morrison; the Jerry Garcia Band; Etta James; and on NBC's Saturday Nite Live Band for the first two seasons of the show. He produced and engineered Van Morrison albums, has extensive credits as a session musician in NYC and LA, and he owns and operates the recording studio Radio Active Productions. Chuck Anderson Chuck helped guide this project. He is a concert and recording artist, composer, producer, and educator. He is a jazz guitarist and has also established the "neo-classical guitar", the performance of classical music on the plectrum guitar. As an educator he lectures widely on music and it's effect on American society and he is the only American to be nominated to the advisory board of The Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts. Allan Tucker Allan Tucker mastered this recording. He began his sound engineering career at the legendary Bell Sound Studios; he also worked at Vanguard Studios. He recorded and mastered the 5-million-selling single 'Shame Shame Shame'. He has worked on thousands of recordings, including many Grammy nominees and winners. He owns and operates Foothill Digital in NYC. Clare Crines Clare Crines of Glasgow, Scotland, made the cover art and other images on the CD. She holds a BFA from the Glasgow School of Art and an MFA from the University of the Arts in London. She has taught at several institutions including Glasgow University and the Glasgow School of Art. Christina Galbiati Christina Galbiati designed the packaging for the CD. She holds a BFA in graphic design and has her own freelance business in Pennsylvania. Her diverse portfolio includes many CD designs.