Ear Mix – Recorded May 6 – 8, 2002 at Studio La Buissonne, Pernes les Fontaines, France

Marvin Stamm, trumpet and flugelhorn; David Friedman, vibraphone; Sebastien Boisseau, bass; Daniel Humair, drums

As a member of the George Gruntz Concert Jazz Band for many years, I came into contact with a
number of European musicians who had at some point in time participated in Europe’s free jazz movement. Among them was drummer Daniel Humair, a Swiss musician and painter living in Paris. Daniel was also a colleague with George Gruntz in Phil Woods’ European Rhythm Machine, as well as an original member of the group of Swiss musicians from which the Concert Jazz Band emanated.

Daniel and I discussed doing a project together several times when the band played in Paris, the result of which is “Ear Mix.” Though I had played “free” many times over the years, I had never recorded anything in the genre. This group—American vibraphonist David Friedman, bassist Sebastien Boisseau, Daniel and myself—had never come together before. Everything was a blank slate. What made this recording possible was the musical simpatico that grew among us over the three days of playing and living together. We all were conversationalists and understood the paramount importance of “listening.” There were only two composed pieces— Sebastien’s “Pablo” and Joe Henderson’s “Black Narcissus.” For the other pieces, possibly a short sketch or only a motif might have been presented as a launching platform. Or we might sit in silence until someone was moved to play something on their instrument, eventually inviting one or more of the other musical conversationalists to join in, out of which one of these pieces was brought to life. This album was a real departure for me, one I still find intriguing and very enjoyable to re-visit.

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