"You hold in your hands the decades-overdue release by the inimitable musician/raconteur/provocateur and general disseminator of freewheeling artistry, love, and cuisine known as Richard Wood. Richard is one of my favorite people. And his groups (The And Now Ensemble and others) have warmed my bones and kept me on the edge of my seat for many a year as they would periodically stick up their collective noggins in the parched heat of So Cal only to scurry for cover again after detonating their sonic (and sometimes verbal) freedom bomb. Richard has an amazing memory, and his point of reference grow increasingly necessary, even as you sit here reading this. Dig in and DIG!"
– Nels Cline (Reykjavik, October 2011)
"I have been anxiously awaiting the new CD from Dick Wood. Worth the wait, clearly a strong creative voice right under our noses here is L.A. I look forward to hearing the band live."
– Bobby Bradford (Altadena, October 2011)
This music is designed to be listened to and re-listened to, anticipating that the experience will be new each time. It focuses on the improvising of the moment – subconscious melodies and unheard-of modulations, simultaneous rhythms, and the force of the dice-toss. Its improvisations are built out of the blues, Bach, New Orleans, and information from Ornette, Art Tatum, Tito Puente, John Cage, Louis Armstrong, Harry Partch, Big Joe Turner, Sun Ra, Charles Ives, Lester Bowie, simultaneous voices in space, pre-vocabulary language in time definite and infinite, mamba, raga, gagaku, and the natural silences in the sounds of earth and sky.
Music is a spiritual act and intense responsibility. Sounds may be frivolous and flounder, or they may be unidirectional like a school of fish interrupted. Still they rise. Vibrations expand into the universe; therefor, space is kept in mind for this music.
In these collective-unconscious arrangements (à la New Orleans) all artists are freely inclusive and all players are subliminal soloists. Celestial Comet Clucas, most mercurial, understands well. We played together way back, keeping it real avant-garde and imaginative. Add Cecil Taylor alumnus Hal Onserud's double bass with his distinctive ability to fuse arco and pizzicato methods. Add Marty Mansour's Zen rhythms, fluent in Japanese and Middle East complexities. Focus on Dan Ostermann's Tricky Sam space-mute trombone (he utilizes a mute with a slinky built into it) which he always starts subtle and builds into true newness. Chuck Manning's quadruple-tongued jet-propelled tenor hieroglyphics express the rhythmicality of his Highlander roots. Mark Trayle improvises with digitally synthesized sounds and samples, phrasing his volcanic variations by manipulating a pen on a laptop graphics tablet. Scott Fraser's engineering wizardly finds patterns in the flights of birds and Bird. Thank You.