The title, "Mileage," at first seemed trite to me. Brief. Ordinary. Lacking in the edginess and mystery that I prefer when branding my work. After hours of reflection and agitation, I realized this album could have no other title.
Some of the pieces were written while traveling. "Falcon Lake" was written while visiting a lake house outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba. "Newark" was written in a terminal at Newark International Airport while awaiting a flight to Germany. But more than that, the idea of hurtling through time and space envelops the creation of this recording at every turn.
In 2009 I became enamored with the idea of improvising with 2 bass players. I put together several ensembles of varying sizes and instrumentations over the next few years for gigs in Baltimore and NYC. At the time I was living in Madison, Wisconsin. I flew or drove about 1,000 miles to the East Coast several times a year to make events like these happen. Bassists included Will McEvoy, Sean Ali, Jeff Reed, Michael Formanek, Eivind Opsvik. The incredible versatility and individual personality of each of these wonderful musicians intrigued me to no end.
I began writing music for 2 basses in 2010. Still living in Madison, the band I had in mind lived in Chicago. Bassists Daniel Thatcher, Anton Hatwich, and drummer Quin Kirchner helped me shape the early iterations of this music. I drove 300 miles round trip to rehearse with them.
Having moved back to the East Coast in 2011, I knew exactly who I wanted on my new team. Will, Flin, Adam and I all go way back. Their commitment, flexibility, and outstanding musicianship are crucial to this music.
Jimmy Katz expressed interest in recording a project of mine in April of 2013. There was no question as to which group I wanted to document. We set a date to record at Steve Maxwell's drum shop (BIG thanks to Deric Dickens for the hookup).
About 5 days before the recording, my dad's mother died. The funeral was set for July 27th in Cleveland. The day before the recording session. So my sister and I rented a car, drove to Cleveland, hung out with the family for a few days, attended the funeral on July 27th, and hoofed it back 500 miles at about 5 a.m. on July 28th, the morning of the session. Ruth Breiner presided over the session from beyond.
Mileage surrounds this recording. So "Mileage" it is. Enjoy.
"Easily the most appealing aspect of this recording is the way in which Breiner’s saxophone volatility meshes with the flowing passages of bass arco… it creates a brooding intensity that is both fearful and strangely mesmerizing." - Dave Sumner, Bird is the Worm
released April 1, 2014
Patrick Breiner - tenor saxophone
Flin van Hemmen - drums
Adam Hopkins - bass
Will McEvoy - bass
All compositions by Patrick Breiner except 3 and 6 by Breiner, van Hemmen, Hopkins, McEvoy.
recorded 28 July 2013 by Jimmy Katz at Steve Maxwell's
mixed and mastered by Katsuhiko Naito at Avatar Studios
Patrick photo by Jimmy Katz
group photo by Patrick Breiner
Huge thanks to Deric Dickens, Connie Wang, Jimmy, Katsu, Will, Adam, and Flin for the work and the love. Also to Jamie, Julia, and Maggie for bearing witness.
So happy to see a new album from this band. I've long been a fan of Mazurek and Parker's work in Tortoise, on top of the CUQ... Anyhow, if you're curious about contemporary jazz, this is a terrific place to start.
What a remarkable album this is. Elements of Glass and Reich with deftly disturbing elements of Penderecki, but with the sonority of the saxophone taking these elements into startling new places.
The quality of the playing is astounding, in that the connection between the players is so intuitive it is as though it's the work of one mind. Beauty, hope, fear and chaos endlessly revolving.
This swirling, heady brew is definitely one of my albums of year. Michael Mueller