|I first met Blaise Siwula back in January 2005, when I played at ABC NoRio (located in Lower East Side of Manhattan) with the superlative bassist Vytis Nivinskas from Lithuania. Since 1998, Blaise has been hosting C.O.M.A., a weekly creative music series there. I had just moved to Baltimore from Chicago and was looking for like-minded collaborators in the East Coast, especially in NY, with whom I could expand my musical horizon. So I asked Blaise to introduce me to musicians who would like to perform with me. Blaise kindly replied that he himself would like to do so.
By that time, mostly inspired by Keith Jarrett's solo works, I had been practicing 'total-improvisation' for several years: total-improvisation is a genre of fully improvised music which requires the performer not only to experiment with 'sound textures' but also to spontaneously create 'songs' (melodies with tonal harmonies). Because of the natural melodic tendency, my improvisation works have been mostly within the 'inside' domain. But knowing Blaise' superb ability to go 'out,' I thought it would be a tremendous experience to collaborate with him. Blaise and I planned to have a 'pilot' gig at C.O.M.A.. I requested to have a drummer for this gig and Blaise suggested Ray Sage.
Siwula, Stowe & Sage performed together for the first time on July 24th 2005 at ABC No Rio. I was immediately struck by the 'fire' which Ray could create. Besides the superb outside playing, Blaise surprised me by his inside sensitivity. Inspired by these two great free-improvisers, I clearly went much more far-out than I ever played before. Yet, I managed to stay truthful to my inside nature...which in turn seemed to inspire Blaise and Ray. In any case, the potential of the TRIO was quite obvious. So we decided to document the music.
This CD contains the result of the second meeting of Siwula, Stowe & Sage which happened at Wombat Studio in Brooklyn on September 4th 2005. While there are some 'rough' moments, all three of us were clearly inspired in the studio. The high inspiration was vividly captured by the talented engineer Ross Bonadonna. The result is an interesting mix of inside and outside improvisation approaches and is reminiscent of the spontaneous melodicism of Keith Jarrett, the avant energy of John Coltrane/ Cecil Taylor and the structural cohesion of J.S. Bach decorated with touches of world music. Importantly, I believe that the music sounds foreseeingly original. I hope you can also feel the creative fire sparked at this second meeting.-Nobu Stowe