David Schnitter (ts), Yaniv Taubenhouse (p), Masa Kamaguchi (b), Jorge Rossy (d, vib)
Reference: FSRCD 5126
Bar code: 8427328651264
I first met Dave when he came to Barcelona in 1982 to teach in some workshops in the third jazz seminar organized by the Taller de Musics (3er Seminario de Jazz Taller De Musics). I was an attendee at the workshops and at 17 years old I was still a beginner in the jazz language while Dave was already a veteran of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. Dave’s playing was beautiful: lyrical, intense, funny at times, and firmly rooted in the blues and bebop (I would say that at moments it could remind you of Dexter Gordon). He was also unmistakably part of a generat ion of post-Coltrane tenor players who were following Coltrane’s example of expanding the tonal system and searching for different harmonic colours (I believe Wayne Shorter was a big influence too). Besides Dave’s playing, just his presence was a constant source of inspiration. He was like nobody else: so radically himself, fearless, witty, and intellectually curious. He had a zany sense of humor and seemed to love creating socially awkward and surreal situations. At the same time, he was always positive, generous, encouraging, and sweet to all the young musicians and wannabe jazz cats who looked up to him. He was never preachy.Listening to him play and having the opportunity to play with him in workshops was an unforgettable and life-changing experience.
Dave came back to Barcelona in 1983 and decided to stay for some time. Over the following five years, Dave spent a lot of time in Barcelona, Valencia and the Canary Islands but mostly he was on the road around Spain playing with local rhythm sections. He also taught in jazz seminars in Madrid, Sevilla, Granada, and Cadiz. This was an enormous gift to the incipient Spanish jazz scene. I’m sure that everyone who was around at the time would agree that Dave’s presence, along with that of other great American musicians like Sean Levitt and Michael Kaupa, was essential to the quantum leap that ensued. Dave played with young local musiciansand showed us by example “how it is done.” He boosted our confidence by trusting us to deliver on the bandstand.
When I look back on those times, I realise the enormity of the influence that Dave’s presence had on my life and that of my peers. Dave’s mastery of the music and his genero sity with up-and-coming musicians were perfect examples of what jazz culture has to offer to humanity. In my case, for example, he invited me to stay in his apartment in New York for a month in 1987 on my very first trip to the city. I can’t stop myself from saying that in a moment in history where we can clearly see the catastrophic results of a belief system based on “me first ” and where success is defined as being the “best” and leaving every body else behind, the values that jazz can offer provide a potential alternative that might help save us from this nonsense.
All jazz musicians and lovers of the music know that you can be a completely unique individual and express the essence of your soul in every note precisely because your playing is fully focused on serving the music and the band. We know that human beings find meaning and happiness through being helpful to the community around them. Once we can forget about our fears and petty desire to shine and focus on what we can give to everyone around us, we find not only gratitude and security in the love and appreciation of our community, but we also discover what it is that we can offer and how we can fully express ourselves in a way that is relevant. Happiness and fulfilment are bound to follow. Dave, like all the true Jazz Masters we love and admire, exemplifies these values and this way of life.
Playing with Dave in this recording session after all these years was a profoundly inspiring and moving experience for me. His haunting sound and wild imagination are in full force in this music. It was a great pleasure sharing the experience with Masa Kamaguchi and Yaniv Taubenhouse, two great jazz musicians from different generations and cultures.
"It was nearly 10 years ago when I first met David, but I feel as if I’ve known him my entire life; I remember that day vividly. I had just moved to New York City and my good friend, guitarist Rotem Sivan, invited me to stay with him while I was looking for my own place. I landed in NY and arrived at Rotem’s right in the middle of a session he was having with some musicians, among them was David. Rotem made me a cup of tea and sent me straight to the piano to join the session as they were playing a blues. There was great energy between everyone in the room and when we finished the tune David looked at me and said: “Welcome Home”. It was like a scene from a movie and the script could not have been written better. David and I have been playing music together ever since that day which was the beginning of a very special friendship and a deep musical relationship.
I’ve learned so much from playing with David over the past decade and I truly cherish every opport unity I get to make music with him. David’s musical personality and individuality are so strong. His unique sound and phrasing are unparalleled and every note he plays sings from his heart. The same is true of David's compositions as he has his own unique melodic and harmonic language. He is not afraid to stretch out the boundaries or be innovative, but never at the expense of his musicality and lyricism. On a personal level, David and his wife, singer Marti Mabin, have become family to me. In the past 10 years, I have spent countlesshours with David and Marti in their home engaging in conversations, having dinners, and watching movies and sports together.
This recording project is dear to my heart and listening back to it fills me with lovely memories. We spent a week in Spain recording and hanging out and the music on this album is a selection of takes from these sessions. Making music with David feels like home to me and in a way, these sessions felt like a family reunion since everyone involved had a special connection to him. Jorge Rossy and David’s friendship and musical collaboration go back 40 years and Masa Kamaguchi has played with both David and Jorge on multiple occasions prior to this recording. Adrian Mateo who was the sound engineer on these sessions has known David’s playing for decades and has worked with Jorge on many different projects. It was beautiful to witness how much love and dedication Adrian put into this recording project.
Jordi Pujol and Fresh Sound Records, that we all love and have collaborated with over the years, supported this recording at every step of the way. It was also wonderful to have Robert L. Smith mixing this album. Robert recorded and mixed some of my albums and other projects I played on and has become a close friend of mine. It was inspiring to see how quickly David and Robert connected while mixing the album at Defy Recordings studio in New York. The album was mastered by Pieter De Wagter at EQuuS Audio Mastering studio in Belgium. Pieter has been mastering albums for Fresh Sound Records for years and always does a fantastic job so it was great to have him on board as well. And lastly, a few words on on the incredibly creative and wondrous cover of this album drawn by Chris Moschler. David had a strong vision for the album cover and was looking for someone who could bring that vision and imagination to life. I suggested Chris who I knew from drawing and designing the cover of DIVE, an album by guitarist Daniel Weiss which I played on and co-composed some of the music. Chris had certai nly turned out to be the right guy for David’s art istic mission. Over the course of a few months, they communicated back and forth tweaking every little detail of this masterpiece album cover until the final artwork had been completed."