Passages is comprised of nine recordings, each piece fully improvised — no parts existed in any form until the first notes were played. They draw on such varied influences as Keith Jarrett, Erik Satie, Charles Ives, Steve Reich, Dmitri Shostakovich, and Ray Charles. The pieces are journeys of fragile beauty interspersed with inquisitive wandering and violent outbursts, as Mont Chris Hubbard lets his subconscious lead the way on an exploration of piano possibilities.
Included on this album are three pieces connected to the "Palettes" sessions. Like the improvisations on that album, they are inspired by works of art. Track 1, "Beachcomber/Aroostook Flyer" draws from Andrew Wyeth's painting "Christina's World". Track 4, "Blue Water", is inspired by Yves Klein's "IKB 191". And in track 5, "Chicago Night Express", one can hear shadows and strains of Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks".
1. "Beachcomber/Aroostook Flyer (Christina's World)" 11:49
2. "Furniture City Special" 4:10
3. "Glacier Discovery" 13:24
4. "Blue Water (IKB 191)" 6:14
5. "Chicago Night Express (Nighthawks)" 5:58
6. "Orange Blossom Special" 10:58
7. "California Zephyr" 4:26
8. "Coast Starlight" 3:39
9. "20th Century Limited" 8:12
Mont Chris Hubbard is a musician from Portland, OR. He began taking classical piano lessons at age five. One day he discovered Keith Jarrett's "Köln Concert" in his parents' record collection; and his fingers were never the same. Over the past two decades, he has melded his classical background with pop, rock, country, and jazz influences as they have entered his life. He attended Reed College as a music major, graduating in 2006. He is a member of a couple of Portland bands: Scotland Barr & The Slow Drags, and Scott Fisher & 1 a.m. Approach; he also plays piano for John Callahan. You can also hear his playing on a number of Portland bands' recordings if you listen closely enough.