Opening Lines features saxophonist Matt James, with Rob Parton on trumpet/flugelhorn, Sean Parsons on piano, Terry Douds and Steven Heffner on bass, and drummer Guy Remonko. All of the musicians are based in central and southern Ohio. The release was recorded in Columbus, Ohio in March 2014.
Four of the tunes are originals by Matt: Three Tune, Cross Tick, Muffuletta, and Low Simmer. Sean Parsons also contributed a tune to the recording: Boilover Blues.
Three Tune: a relaxed waltz to serve as the opening line for the entire collection.
Cross Tick: driving crosstick and an unapologetic bass line propel this tune.
Watch What Happens: Michel Legrand's composition arranged here as straight ahead rather than bossa nova.
A Flower is a Lovesome Thing: started life as a Johnny Hodges feature, and later Billy Strayhorn added words. He deftly paired the lyrics ("Azaleas drinking pale moonbeams, gardenias floating through daydreams...") with atmospheric harmony and a floating melody.
Muffuletta: a Crescent City-inspired tune named after a Crescent City delicacy. While the spelling of the sandwich might be disputed, there's no disputing the potency of its signature olive salad spread.
Low Simmer: something peaceful that evolved into something different each time we played it leading up to this session.
Samba do Aviao: "Song of the Jet," the lyrics speak of Antonio Carlos Jobim's return flight into beautiful Rio de Janeiro. A repeated melodic motive recalls the city's name four times in a row.
Boilover Blues: Sean Parsons' twist on a 12-bar blues, handled in a trio format. Not your average blues.