Liner Notes: By Tatum Greenblatt
In coming up with the title for this project, I found myself undertaking a great deliberation. Sometimes, when searching for a cohesive name that represents the entirety of an album, a certain song title from the record—the proverbial “title track”—will suffice, but that was not the case for this collection of material. Stylistically speaking, this album is a broad musical offering, but I came to realize that the common thread through this project is that each song relates to people, or experiences, or musical influences that, to me, have made a deep and lasting effect; they have left their mark, so to speak. And so, dear listener, I present to you, Imprints.
The opening track, “Frafrito Malenke Bonacci (DIAP),” is a tribute to my experiences as a member of The Richard Bona Group. The multi-track, layered approach is a direct nod to the impressive solo performances Mr. Bona gives during each concert using a loop pedal, and the festive vibe of the piece reflects the atmosphere that he brings to each and every performance.
“Gotta Feel It” is a bluesy boogaloo that draws from my love for the Adderley Brothers, Horace Silver, and the great Hammond B3 organists such as Jimmy Smith and Dr. Lonnie Smith. One of the characteristics I love most about jazz is that, at the root of its history, it is music to move to, and I hope this song captures that spirit.
I wrote “As I Wait For You” in dedication to my girlfriend, whose beauty, intelligence, and grace inspires me on a daily basis. When composing this piece, I found myself hearing vocals as one of the lead instruments, and was lucky to include my wonderful friend and vocalist, Sofia Tosello to join the band for this track.
Jazz musicians have always covered popular songs of the day, incorporating their own touches, and I’ve included a composition by St. Vincent, who is one of my favorite contemporary artists. Her haunting “Paris Is Burning” is a song that I have been performing with The Here and Now Quintet for years, and am very happy to finally record. Drew Pierson penned the original arrangement, which I then adapted for this recording’s specific instrumentation.
Clifford Brown was my greatest influence as a young student, and continues to be one of my favorite trumpet players to have ever lived. My arrangement of his classic composition “Daahoud,” which trades back and forth between a “modern” and “traditional” jazz feel, features an extended intro from drummer Donald Edwards.
“Floating” was written during a period in my life of emotional un-attachment, and I tried to musically represent that feeling; the horns float in their own time and space, over the intense and driving groove. The tone of this piece is set by the solo bass intro of the great Boris Kozlov.
As pianist for The Here and Now Quintet, Drew Pierson has contributed a number of outstanding originals to that group’s book. His melancholy bolero, “Silhouette” is one I felt compelled to record, and his beautiful three-horn arrangement features Geoff Vidal on both tenor saxophone and clarinet, and Boris Kozlov on arco bass.
While growing up, one of my favorite records in my mother’s collection was Bring On The Night, by Sting. As an adult, I re-discovered this incredible album, which features the great Branford Marsalis and Kenny Kirkland. What I really appreciate and enjoy about “Consider Me Gone” is that it is already a hard-grooving shuffle that doesn’t need any “jazzing up” to swing, just drop in some blues choruses to blow on, and you’re good to go.
As Imprints was being developed, I met with Simon Kafka to talk about the music and to work on writing some material together. He played his original, “View From Above”, for me and I knew immediately that I wanted to record it. Maybe it’s because I’m from Seattle, but I think sometimes you just need a good alt-rock tune to wail on.