Self Portrait #8: Lawns

Self Portrait #8: Lawns

This is the 8th installment of the Self Portrait Series.


This is a preview of what some of the sounds will be like. This improvisation is based on the Carla Bley tune “Lawns.” Chris Coles is playing alto on this and he has been a great source of inspiration and collaboration from the first months I moved to CLE. He is also the one that “hipped” me to this tune and it’s been a favorite of mine since, so I couldn’t hear anyone else being on it!


From the beginning of the project I knew it would most likely have 2 stages…

1) I wanted the solo drum videos to be one aspect of the self portraits. I love playing melodic concepts on the drums and take great pride in experimenting with diverse textures and grooves.

2) I didn’t want it to stop there though because music for me is so relational! One of the things I cherish most about making music is developing relationships with other musicians and creatives and as this process went further and I realized I wanted to make an album out of it, I started thinking about some of the people I have met over the last several years that have had a really strong impact on me as a friend and musician.

I know that overdubbing parts on some of these tracks might seem “wrong” in the world of jazz, but I wanted the drums to be the focus of the record. I wanted to use my voice to dictate the compositions and arrangements so the tracks that are overdubbed are more like textures that will be added to the composition rather than solos on top of drum accompaniment that we are used to hearing in “jazz” recordings. Make sense? In other words, I wanted the drum solos to be the framework of a composition. These drum solos are the compositions/arrangements and I wanted them to join in and add their personal touch to them.

In this video I am using Vater Sugar Maple Super Jazz Drum Sticks, Remo Coated Ambassadors and Fortune Drums

Thank you to these amazing people for all of their work on the project!

Chris Coles – Alto Sax

Nathaniel Morgan – Mixing

Cass Jewell – Audio and Video Recording

Kevin Abrams – Illustration –

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