This latest album is a collection of mostly original music that I've been cultivating in the trio setting for the last five years. I see it as a documentation of my development as a pianist and composer, as I continue to become more firmly rooted in my influences. The goal of this process as I see it is to internalize those influences to the point where they become part of one's musical "identity." Then it becomes possible to transcend regurgitation, and make music in a more honest, powerful way.
I was actually interested in having some jazz standards on the album and recorded a couple things (Monk's "Bye-Ya," and "How Deep is the Ocean,") in the studio, but in the end I decided that they weren't as strong as the other material.
I'm really happy with the energy that Kellen and Ari brought to the project. They're hard work, professionalism and humor made the task of recording an album in a single day much less daunting. I'm also very pleased with the talent that Joe Valentine brought to the table in creating the artwork and design for the project. This is the second time we've collaborated, and probably not the last.