Serving the San Francisco Bay Area New Music Community

Artist Bruce Ackley Trio
Title The Hearing
Label Avant Records - Avan 069
Released On 9/18/1998

Bruce Ackley Trio - 1998 The Hearing

Label: Avant – Avan 069
Format: CD, Album
Country: Japan
Released: 1998
Genre: Jazz
Style: Contemporary Jazz

Bass – Greg Cohen
Design – Ikue Mori
Drums – Joey Baron
Executive Producer – John Zorn
Liner Notes – Bruce Ackley
Mastered By – Allan Tucker
Photography By – Peeter Vilms
Producer [Associate] – Kazunori Sugiyama
Recorded By – Jim Anderson
Soprano Saxophone, Composed By, Producer – Bruce Ackley

Doing this project brought me great pleasure. When Zorn proposed me the idea of a soprano and rhythm section recording I felt challenged to realize a dream that I've had for years. Credit for helping me put my material together goes to my Actual Size brethren, drummer Garth Powell and bassist George Cremaschi as well as Joey and Greg. What generous and brilliant players! Special thanks to John Zorn for his interest and insight.

Out of the Box was inspired by my friend and musical colleague of the past 25 years, guitarist Duck Baker. It's loosely based on Herbie Nichols' tune The Third World. I clearly remember the thrill of hearing Herbie's music for the first time in the early 1970s, long after having read about him in A.B. Spellman's remarkable book, Black Music: Four Lives in the Bebop Business. We were startled hearing that rare copy of the Herbie Nichols Trio that I was lucky enough to come across before there were Blue Note and Mosaic re-issues. Herbie's music was a secret.

One, Two, Radical Three for Hilda Méndez, is the numerical expression of the proportions of a 30/60/90 degree triangle. Some grooves wobble on a tricky edge.

Juggernaut is a blues I wrote for alto player Sonny Simmons. For many years I had the fortune to hear Sonny play at the streets of San Francisco. One evening, while I was at an opening for a friend's painting exhibit in a downtown gallery, I heard the sound of his alto out the window as he played in the nearly deserted streets four stories below. I knew it had to be Sonny because I could here the sound of the Dolphy school being driven up into the air. I immediately left the gallery and stood in the street listening for several minutes to his enormous tone and cascading ideas.

Mr. Mood is a tune I wrote with Steve Adams, my Rova brother. I came up with the line and asked him to help me with the changes. My mind was on Billy Strayhorn.

JT is for John Tchicai whose lyricism and phrasing made a deep impression on me even before I began playing. It all started with his solo on Coltrane's Ascension.

Syndrome Just some lines and a feel that wouldn't leave me alone. YES, Joey! This one's for Anthony Braxton, a tremendous mentor and friend.

Serf Music in memory of my brother, Dennis, first appeared in a longer piece Trike, written for the singer Laurie Amat, with text by poet Clark Coolidge. This strand of melody migrated out for the trio.

The Clear Blue Sky is Duck Baker's gorgeous ballad from his CD of the same title. I couldn't get the tune out of my head for weeks after I first heard it. Ain't Greg pretty here?

Actual Size which takes its name from a Detroit-based literary journal of the late 1960s, was inspired by the harmonic movement I hear on early Cecil Taylor, John Coltrane and the pianist to whom the piece is dedicated, Elmo Hope. 'Actual Size' is also the name of my current trio on the West Coast.

Ivan's Bell is an anagram for Bill Evans who inspired the writing of the piece; it's dedicated to my charming 5 year-old, Ivan.

I'm indebted to the great soprano players who have shown me the way - Bechet, Lacy, Hodges, Coltrane, Lucky Thompson, Jerome Richardson, Evan Parker, Don Redman, Dave Liebman and Lol Coxhill. And thanks always to my partners in Rova, my laboratory and musical utopia.

Recorded at Avatar, NYC on May 14, 1997.
Mastered at Foothill Digital, NYC.