The careful reader will note that I’m sitting on a full-length album called “Reality Jockey”, and waiting somewhat stubbornly until I have the funds to properly release the thing. It’s been a whole lot of hurry-up-and-wait, and I’ve been jumping out of my skin. I need to quench my creative thirst!
I had a rough sketch of an instrumental electronic/jazzy song called “Airport Hooker” that didn’t fit the feel of my Reality Jockey album (and there wasn’t any room left on a 12″ vinyl cut anyhow). Last Saturday I went out late night to Pick Me Up Cafe and had some wonderful tea when it struck me… do up a 3-song collaborative EP and start it with this tune.
The song has a saxophone part on it, and my go-to player is my friend Tim Koelling (of the bands Pink Monkey, Four Star Brass Band, and High-Hat Second Line). I’ve always had it in the back of my head to collaborate on songs from-the-ground up with Tim. He’s been kind enough to play sax on a ton of my material (Dark Kind of Guy, Dogstar, and an additional three songs on Reality Jockey). He’s got amazing jazz composition chops, so I’m totally pumped to see what we can come up with together. Today, Tim came over and put down his sax parts for this first tune.
On Wednesday, esteemed trombonist Alex Leong (Four Star Brass Band, Don’t Speak) will contribute trombone to the mix. Also on the ticket is the uber-talented Josh Siegal (Red Spot Rhythm Section) who will be contributing piano parts. To round it out, I’ve got my eye on a great singer/lyricist who I’m seeing perform tomorrow night at Empty Bottle. I’m going to wait until the music is done before I approach her about the project. Her style is ethereal and soulful, and is a perfect compliment to this somewhat bombastic electro-jazz.
I’ve decided that I’m not going to do any singing on these songs (…from the crowd comes a collective sigh of relief, I know). I’m also going to encourage the singer to write her own lyrics. It’s a total 180 for me, as it’s not uncommon for me to write and play 100% of the material on my songs. It used to be very tricky for me to give up this kind of control with music. But in most respects, my role on this project is more of a producer. I’m going to be co-writing with Tim, playing bass and some keyboards, and doing drum programming. I am encouraging the players to come up with parts they see fit, with little to no guidance on my part.
I decided to name the project Airport Hookers, and then come up with a new title for this existing song. The name Airport Hookers is awesomely weird and tawdry, but doubles as a metaphor for the people who give support to those about to soar. This project will be a digital release only, so costs will be very small, and we can release it as soon as it’s recorded.
I’m going to document each session with the players to give a peek into our process. I’ll leave you with the short video we made today. Expect more after Wednesday!