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Andrew Bird Trio - Sunday Morning Put-On

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"When I was in my 20s, I lived in an old apartment/hotel in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. A relic from better times (the 1920s), it was cheap and inhabited mostly by retired Jesuit priests and nuns from nearby Loyola University. The gym had old Schwinn 10-speedbicycles up on cinder blocks for low-rent pelotons, an old swimming pool where they played opera, and the steam room was a clubhouse for the local Russian mob. Most Saturday nights I’d stay up listening to a radio show called “Blues Before Sunrise” on WBEZ from 12-4 am. The DJ, Steve Cushing, played old rare 78 rpm records of blues, jazz and gospel. Then I’d sleep for a few hours and wake to Dick Buckley’s show, also on WBEZ, featuring what he called “Golden Era” jazz from the 30s and 40s. My love for a certain era of jazz up through the mid 20th century has been constant through many transmutations in my own work, the bulk of which is not jazz at all.

I’ll admit that under the Jazz banner we are blessed with some of the greatest moments in the history of music (Coleman Hawkins’ “Body and Soul”) and perhaps some of the worst (I won’t name names). My point is that this American artform carries a lot of baggage and lore that can be hard to cut through. Once I had some distance between myself and this time when I was under its spell, I wanted to immerse myself in jazz again. Working with the masterful rhythm section of Ted Poor and Alan Hampton, we were riding a fine line. Every song had to try to transcend nostalgia and jazz with a capital J, and that led us to playing fewer notes and singing a lot more than I expected.

I wanted to push myself as an improviser and see if a lifetime of listening and woodshedding could get me into the same solar system as Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. And speaking of those tenor sax players, I wanted to make my instrument do what a reed instrument does with breath and phrasing but with my bow on a string and breaths of air through my vocal cords. In short, Sunday Morning Put-On is all about tone."

1. I Didn't Know What Time It Was
2. Caravan
3. I Fall in Love Too Easily
4. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
5. My Ideal
6. Django
7. I Cover the Waterfront
8. Softly, as in A Morning Sunrise
9. I've Grown Accustomed to Your Face
10. Ballon de Peut-Etre

Released 24th May 2024

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Andrew Bird Trio - Sunday Morning Put-On

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