The idea for this project started back in 2008. I would take two related bands that I’d been writing for—The Mentones (Tony Atherton, Bill Barrett, Joe Berardi, me) and the Tee-Tot Quartet (Dan Clucas, Scot Ray, Joe Berardi, me)—and combine them. I started to write the music, I started the artwork, I had the album title—but life and the world intervened.
Then in 2017, I had the opportunity to play a fairly high-profile gig and I asked to do this, my deferred dream band. The presenter put faith in me (thank you, Lisa Mezzacappa!) and Men-Tot Six was back.
I reworked the two and half tunes I had already started and then got to work on some other preliminary sketches. As usual, original ideas can start changing once the music starts coming out. For example, the plan was to write seven tunes, but after a couple of rehearsals, an eighth emerged (which ended up being the title tune, nine years after the fact). And the writing itself changed. Some of it became quite a bit more contrapuntal then I had anticipated . . . what had started as an extension of the skewed American music I’d done for the two bands became something a bit different—something (perhaps) a bit more skewed—once we got into it.
The guys in the band . . . they’ve put their talents and hard work into this project. They really supported and encouraged me (even when I wasn’t so great to be around), which is incredibly important in the creative world. (I’m grateful!)
They also played their asses off. There are too many moments, great solos, bits of interaction, etc., to go into detail. One of the great joys for me is the way this band can be fluid with the material (and there is a bunch of written music)—we can go skittering off the page. Just take a listen.
released October 19, 2018
Tony Atherton - Alto Saxophone
Bill Barrett - Chromatic Harmonica
Scot Ray - Slide Guitar
Dan Clucas - Cornet
Joseph Berardi - Drumset, Percussion
Steuart Liebig - Contrabass Guitars
Recorded 4-5 November 2017 by Wayne Peet at Newzone Studios, LA
Mixed by Wayne Peet and Steuart Liebig
Mastered by Wayne Peet
"Orenda Records punches above its weight... informed by rock, modern classical, and jazz, and combine these genres in a
natural, organic fashion... Orenda’s musicians grew up in a post-Braxton era where musical styles are viewed on a continuum rather than as individual silos of expression."
–Avant Music News...more
Jimmy easily would have fit in with this outfit, and it would have been a joy to listen to for another reason. These musicians are engaged and perform at the top of their game, every piece. Kenneth Pyron
This album feels as if it could have been released in the late 50's, except for it's thoroughly modern approach. It's first class musicians working with first class material. It's been a consistent 'go-to' album since I purchased it. Kenneth Pyron