Tom Varner, French horn; Frank London, trumpet; Thomas Chapin, alto sax; Steve Swell, trombone; Phil Haynes, drums; Lindsey Horner, bass; Ed Jackson, alto sax; Rich Rothenberg, tenor sax
When it came time to prepare for this recording, I was intrigued by the possibilities of a quintet consisting of three winds, bass, and drums. My earlier projects had been either in the trio, quartet, or traditional jazz quintet format－now I wanted to write for a group that could play expressive chamber music, swing hard, and improvise on a high level.
As envisioned, the compositions would combine inspiration from numerous sources to create something relevant to the present, reflecting today's complexity without attempting a re-creation of a specific singular style from the past. Most important, I wanted to reflect on music with a personal connection: Ornette Coleman's joy; Art Blakey's power; Alban Berg's brooding romanticism; Erik Satie's lonely humor; and Steve Lacy's angular warm intelligence－as well as a variety of music of composers and bandleaders with whom I've been personally involved in recent years, such as John Zorn, Bobby Previte, and LaMonte Young.
Tom Varner: Long Night Big Day