Is it really 20 years since we recorded this! It certainly doesn’t feel like it but in the winter of 1993 Mike, Ronan and myself went to Armstrongs’ barn a studio in County Wicklow to record a concept in odd meter playing which (even if I do say so myself), was and maybe still is ahead of it’s time.
I remember the feeling going to the studio on that cold winter’s day. We were excited, nervous but also confident that we were breaking new ground. Having worked so hard in the rehearsal, virtually all the tracks were first takes. We did some second takes anyway and then chose.
The tracks were then mixed to DAT (remember those?). There were no fixes, just straight performances of the music we had prepared.
I made my tabla debut, playing on “Paper Moon”, and recorded my first odd meter clave track on “Love for sale”.
When it was over, we transferred the DAT to cassettes and sent to a bunch of jazz record labels, that we hoped would jump at the chance of releasing our masterpiece. Of course we didn’t get any replies (maybe one), and while we continued to explore rhythmic possibilities, the trio changed to playing original material and eventually moved towards free concepts.
There is no doubt that we were extremely disappointed in the lack of response to our work. I suppose we were naïve, but it was that naiveity, that allowed us to spend the necessary hours rehearsing to create something unique. However there was also the need to move on, and move on we did.
Then sometime ago I discovered an old white cassette of the day in Wicklow that hadn't been sent to a record label. I searched around for a cassette player, and when I heard it again after 20 years I was amazed.
Amazed at how well it still stood up. Amazed at just how unique it was, and a little amazed that nobody had cared.
I went in search of the original DAT, but to no avail. The studio was gone and all record of that day had been lost. All I had to document our work was this cassette, so I transferred it to a digital format and wondered what to do with it.
I knew it would never be released, but it seemed a shame to bury it in a box in the attic. So, I asked the guys what they thought of offering it for free download.
So here it is, complete with imperfections, indulgences and less then 100% digital quality sound. Also included is, dedication, a unique concept and playing that I am still proud of 20 years later.