Joris Teepe - Don Braden - Conversations / Liner Notes
Conversations is a celebration of our nearly 25 years of collaboration. We met in 1992 at a session in New York, and we quickly recognized the compatibility of our personalities and attitudes, as well as our musical tastes and goals. We booked several productive tours in Europe, which led to our first CD as co-leaders, entitled Pay As You Earn, featuring Tom Harrell, Cyrus Chestnut and Carl Allen (Mons Records, a German label). The energy between us was clearly meant for the long run, so in the next couple of decades we found ourselves joining forces on many productive projects: CDs, tours, jazz education, TV shows, big bands, and composing projects including symphonic orchestral works.
Individually, we both have had the remarkable experience of touring with and learning from many legendary jazz masters. Don worked with Betty Carter, Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, Tony Williams, Tom Harrell, Roy Haynes and many others. Joris spent 9 years in Rashied Ali’s group, and also toured and recorded with Billy Hart, Benny Golson, Sonny Fortune and many more. Now in our fifties, we still write and play together as much as ever.
Our compatibility and history with drummers Gene Jackson and Matt Wilson are also very strong, and are reflected in their exemplary participation in our musical discourse. They also brought tunes: Gene arranged Elvin Jones’ “Three Card Molly” and Matt wrote “Stolen Time”. In trio format with Gene or Matt, we are sometimes known as the “Trio of Liberty”.
The music in Conversations truly highlights the interactive aspects of how we play jazz. Framed by rich and varied tunes, strong and supple grooves, and emotional expression, the improvisations are really a manifestation of exuberant adventure for us. We create, exchange, explore and develop all kinds of ideas – melodically, harmonically, rhythmically, dynamically and more, and we really have fun while doing so. The fact that there are just two or three of us on a given tune allows that much more opportunity for clarity of communication. You’ll hear it! We hope you enjoy the journey as much as we did.
Sincerely, Joris Teepe & Don Braden, November 2016
Album Producers and Executive Producers: Don Braden and Joris Teepe
Recorded at Creative Perspective Music Studio on May 5, 2016 & April 30, 2016 (the trios) and February 2009 (the duos). This CD was edited, mixed and mastered by Don Braden.
Cover Design and Graphics: Christopher Drukker.
Cover photographs by Grace Kim.
Endorsements: Joris Teepe endorses David Gage “Realist-Lifeline” pickups.
Don Braden plays the R.S. Berkeley Virtuoso tenor saxophone and Volaré flute. He uses SONAR X3 Producer software for audio mixing. He also uses Tetra audiophile speakers for reference in the audio monitoring.