“Watercolors” is the most recent EP project from Timothy Hunter Music.
The EP features “The Enharmonics”, a group of seasoned giants of the pacific northwest jazz scene plus a couple of ringers from New Jersey, stretching out, having fun.
Hi, and thank you for listening to these new tunes, here’s a bit of background info.
Hay ! Watt ? One day while Tom Russell had his baritone sax out he said “I’ve had this little riff in my head for twenty years man ~ maybe we could do some thing with this”. Then he played what you’ll hear as the first two measure of this piece. I added some to the song. Tom and I played it a few times at our duo performances under the stage name of “Watt ? & Hay ! “. We took the tune to our genius pals Steve Luceno and Steven Bentley for a recording session at South Sound Sound studio. The amazing Joe Halajian had agreed to add more horn parts from his studio in New Jersey, and we left a blank stretch in the song for his solo to be added later. You’ll hear Tom’s baritone lay out the head of the song. Then you’ll also hear Joe having added a full horn section of two soprano sax parts, two alto sax parts and two tenor sax parts, and his blow-your-wig-right-off-your-head tenor solo. Joe and his daughter Arpineh Halajian added vocals on top of mine and Tom’s. For some reason I thought it was a brilliant idea to play this on my 1978 Takamine acoustic guitar – through a wah wah pedal. We all had a blast with this tune. I hope others might enjoy hearing it.
“Hay !, What?”
This Place Called Earth: My friend Michael performs around Detroit exclusively in retirement homes and Alzheimer’s units. Odd little niche, eh? He loves it. After a recent performance, a 96 year old woman named Faye Maretka told him she has had a song in her head for years and wondered if he might be able to put music to it. Michael held up his IPhone and Faye sang into it to create a recording of it. Michael then sent me that recording of Faye singing this song acapella…and very precisely. It knocked me out. Michael asked me if I’d take a swing at creating accompaniment for it. I carefully wrote out how Faye sang it and then developed some accompaniment for it. I was then able to have Steven Bentley add percussion (checkout the cymbal rolls at the outset and ending of the song), and Steve Luceno play upright bass (using a bow at the outset and ending of the song). It was a treat to be able to engage with this song, and I am delighted that Faye loves the recording.
“This Place Called Earth”
Martians Go Home: Originally recorded by Shorty Rogers and His Giants in 1955. Tom Russell turned me onto this tune. We often play it as something to warm up with and get the creative juices flowing. In March 2020, we had finished what we came to do in Jason Suko’s studio (South Sound Sounds), and still had 20 minutes left on the clock. I suggested we record this song. Neither Steve Luceno (bass) or Steven Bentley (drums) had heard it before. Tom was initially thinking we’d be wise to just leave well enough alone and pack up. But Steve and Steven both wanted to dive in. What you’ll hear is our spontaneous romp through this zany little bebop tune…with Steve’s amazing bass playing followed by him saying at the end of the song “Well, that didn’t take a lot of extra effort…”.
“Martians Go Home”
Water Colors: This is an instrumental piece that I recorded in my humble little garage “studio” playing keyboard and then using a slide on my metal “resonator” guitar. Tom listened to it,; went home and wrote out the song meticulously; then he came back to record three baritone sax tracks precisely crafted around the melody. Then, he added an inspired, improvisational flute track.