I hadn't intended to record a trio album. In fact, I hadn't really intended to record an album at all.
But that quickly changed when some free studio time became available at Ex'pression College for Digital Arts, due to a last-minute cancellation by a band that was supposed to record there. Purely on impulse, I responded saying that I would take the date, and I got it.
So now I just had to figure what to play. And with whom.
My first call was to Steve Uccello, whom I had originally met on Twitter. We played together at a jazz "tweetup" with other Twitter users a few months earlier, and I had been looking for an opportunity to play with him again - this recording date seemed perfect.
Jake Wood had been a frequent sub for my other band, the Rob Evans Trio. In addition to being a great player and a great individual, he's extremely flexible and versatile, so I knew he'd be great in a seat-of-the-pants situation like this one.
Steve and Jake had never met before, but I had a feeling that the group would mesh well together - the first time we played together as a trio, the tape was rolling.
I knew there would be no real rehearsal time, so I tried to choose tunes that would be familiar to my bandmates, but I included one original tune, "One For Bill", that I had composed a few years earlier but never recorded. Steve and Jake handled it beautifully, and quickly made it their own. Listening to it now, I have to remind myself that it's maybe the third time they ever played it.
One of the things I love the most about being a jazz musician is the kind of spontaneous music-making that's at the heart of the genre. It really is as simple as calling up a couple of friends, calling out some tunes, then seeing where you all end up. It's almost never where you thought it was going to be, and that's the gift.
Welcome to Impromptu - please fasten your seat belts, and enjoy the ride...
released June 27, 2012
Darin Wilson, acoustic and electric piano
Steve Uccello, acoustic and electric bass
Jake Wood, drums...just the acoustic kind (sorry, Jake)
Cover art by Ponor
Check out Ponor's video for "Blue in Green" here: vimeo.com/44147364
Impromptu is an Any And All Records release
Recorded at Ex'pression College for Digital Arts, Emeryville, CA on June 6, 2011 - big thanks to the excellent instructors and students who made this recording happen
Mixed by Darin Wilson
Copious amounts of mixing and mastering assistance from Kurt Kurasaki - www.peff.com