Dedicated to William Michael Edwards
July 30th 1938 - April 7th 2015
I owe a lot to my Dad, if it was not for him I would not be a musician. When he died I thought I would like to make a 'Jazz' album in his honour.
My dad loved Jazz and brought me up from birth on a diet of Dave Brubeck, Ella Fitzgerald, MJQ, Count Basie and a host of other jazz masters.
All the songs on this album have a special meaning to me and I hope they demonstrate the musical qualities I have inherited from him.
released July 21, 2015
AE: Drums, Bass, Guitar and Production
Murphy McCaleb: Bass Trombone on track 7
This album was created under a set of rules, some of which I kept to and some of which I bent a little.
I decided to choose a selection of jazz 'standards' and record them with the same trio line up of guitar, bass and drums. There would be no overdubs and I would play all the instruments myself.
I would not do lots of takes, working very quickly and keeping in all the mistakes. The tracks would be made up of complete takes.
There would be no effects and in the mix I would use no eq, gates or compression, using only panning and volume level to create the mix.
In truth I ended up splicing a few solos together and I have added delay and ring modulation to the guitar in two specific places.
About the song selection:
Afro Blue (Mongo Santamaria)
I know this song from the John Coltrane version from the 'Live at Birdland' album which is my favourite Coltrane album. Elvin Jones has been a big influence on how I play jazz drums and I have tried my best to create that bubbling, polyrhythmic turmoil that Elvin was the master of. The solo is pretty 'out there'.
Follow Your Heart (John McLaughlin)
Some jazz musicians (like Coltrane) I first discovered in my dad's record collection. John McLaughlin is my own discovery and perhaps the most important musician in my life. JM has recorded this on a number of albums but I love the version he he put on Joe Farrell's first album. This is in 11/8. I love odd time signatures and this comes directly from two album my dad used to play; Time Out by Dave Brubeck and Spirit Feel by Roger Kellerway.
Blue in Green (Bill Evans)
A beautiful tune from the Miles Davis album, Kind of Blue. I can't really explain how I feel about my dad dying but I think this conveys it more than anything I could say.
Two songs direct from my dad's record collection. My dad loved Latin music and bossa nova so decided to record Giant Steps in that style.
When I was little my dad would put on Conquistadors and me and my brother would play along with homemade shakers and pots and pans from the kitchen. This is where it all begins for me.
So this track contains two ways of improvising, the first is trying to play through the harmonic form, the second is simple blues and funk and is all about feel.
Summertime (George Gershwin)
Through singers like Ella, Tony Bennett and Sinatra I became aware of lots and lots of jazz standards. When I started playing jazz I always knew the songs we were playing which really helps when improvising. I thought I should include a proper, 'songbook' jazz standard and to me Summertime is the ultimate standard.
My dad loved stuff that swung and although this song is quiet I tried to make it swing hard.
Ginnaman Blues (Andy Edwards)
The blues runs through this whole album. As John McLaughlin once said 'if you take rhythm and blues out of jazz then you got no jazz. This track happened by accident. I was trying to get my walking bass lines together and ended up playing this blues.
One of the interesting things about the blues is that if you keep pushing against it you go into abstraction. Coltrane did this to great effect on the song Chasin' the 'Trane. I try my best to do that here.
This originally recorded for the 'Mythical and Angry' album but didn't seem to fit with overall feel of the record. I have always really liked this track though and I thought it would be a nice choice for this album. My dad absolutely loved trombone and Murphy plays wonderfully (as always) on this one.
This is not a normal jazz album. As I'm playing everything the challenge was to create something where it sounds like jazz interplay is happening even though each track was recorded one after the other. In many cases this was done by recording the bass first, then guitar, then drums, then replacing the bass. This album put a lot of emphasis on my guitar playing too, especially on stuff like Giant Steps where the chord changes are really fast and difficult.
I hope you like and I do hope my dad would have liked it too.