In my part of the world, January is the coldest, darkest month of the year. For me, January of 2007 was even colder and darker than usual. It was when the truly imaginable happened: I lost my beloved mother Janis to a horrible illness. My inspiration, my cheerleader, my biggest supporter and fan, my mother, was taken from us unexpectedly at too young an age. She was taken so quickly that I truly never had a chance to thank her for everything she gave to me, for all the sacrifices she made for me.
This album is my attempt to do just that. It is the only way I know how to show my gratitude, to honor her memory.
In the months following her passing, I immersed myself in composing a book of music for my own big band. After a fruitful year of rehearsing and performing that music, I felt we were ready to record. In February of 2008, just over a year of her passing, we headed into the studio. Throughout all this, my wife, Lauren, and I had started a family of our own, which now includes our daughters Lilah and Saige. As a result, the big band project was put on the back burner, and the music we recorded over five years ago remained unreleased.
After a two-year hiatus, during which I composed all new material, the band and I resurfaced in January 2013. These new compositions are true to my current self, and more importantly, a better representation of what the Ian Torres Big Band is today.
January includes four tracks from the 2008 session, one live track recorded in 2009 at the Jazz Showcase, and six of our newest pieces that we’ve just recorded this June 2013. The result is an organic work that represents the birth and development of this truly unique big band.
Thank you, Mom. For everything. I know that you are proud of this accomplishment. Then again, you were always proud of me!