Without really looking at the cover, I stuck it in the
machine. It immediately presented music more in keeping with my image of what Zzaj plays;
but with familiar sounding bluesy, jazzy meanderings, obviously freely indulgent of the
moment. A positive revelry of "good time"/ "good moment" playing
Then there were these eery, murky meanderings that I'm sure my mother would NOT call
"music". .. piano bell tones, and vocalizations, some drumming, took a while to
unfold before setting the tone for the dreamy poetic offerings and political grumblings. A
long Zzaj jam obviously edited off to silence only to produce a demented
"country-western" reprise improv on piano and guitar
waky and wavy, again
sounding oddly familiar.
You can imagine my surprize when I opened the sleeve to realize this recording was made
at MY HOUSE, 15 YEARS AGO! It was then that I recognized my own, slightly "out of
tune" piano. Oh, boy.
The following cut sounded like it was recorded in a cavern, and indeed it was! At that
time, our main venue for the "Improv Series" was a dark and dingy new wave bar
called the CAVERN! Well, this was a Cavern gig! Mucho high voltage trips between drums and
guitar, Zzaj's Rhodes piano and the alto saxophone of Wally Shoup, betray the unabashed
freedom of time and indeterminate "jazzing" up with abstractions, noise,
fugitive running on and on
back at the house. Ah, the memory of cappucino! with some of the queezy,
sneering underwater melodics that only Davey Williams can produce, and Metcalf
"flailing away" on my out of tune Mason and Hamlin piano.
It was really hard for me to listen "objectively" as the CD brought back so
many verdent memories of a kind of golden age of development. Trial and error, passion in
the midst of obscurity, eccentricity and rejection by the Southern society (a sign of
virture), a time of calling with no guarantee of outcome. And poverty, a normal exchange
for living a life of rampant creativity. Truly, it was the age of music exploration as
both serious art and social recreation. We were an artistic statement that slapped the
face of New Wave. Even the kids ignored us! But, we MADE them listen! With beat poet
mutterings accompanied by soft jazz progression, trapset punctuations before the groove
set in. Laid back
. a touch of "Rhodes" flavor, garnished by Williams. This
jam must've been endless, because Zzaj cut it off. [ie. edit..fade out. ]
Cut 4 eigoow eigoob [fades in] At the Cavern, an upbeat breaky
dancegroove led by Williams. Faintly, you can hear my own weak and amateurish fake cornet
interactions creating the REAL "Holiday Inn" atmosphere of soft-bad-jazz-gone
insane. Cut 5 oot edulretni onaip Back in the home studio, duet, pretty much
consists of Williams soloing madly over Zzaj's accenting and pounding high energy, yet
straight forward piano comps. Again, if I'd known this music would end up on a CD, I
would've had the piano tuned, and served Champaign!
Cut 6 hasd oduesp At the Cavern, a quartet featuring drummer John Thompson
and Wally Shoup's raw alto sax sound. I believe it was his old horn, the old nickel plated
alto that got stolen in the park. Took me back, reminising the old Wally Shoup sound.
Anyway, the improv broke away into some high level simultaneous not jollying. It's a wild
furray of dense sound. Cut 7 eerht onaip Back in the studio
.i get the
drift. The alternating of some of the private playing that led up to the "event"
we staged at the Cavern. This, so far, one of my favorite cuts. Lots of attitude! Zzaj
Williams horsing out too many notes, too fast for his own good, and
carrying the listener with them. Well, that IS what it's all about
ENGAGED! And so, it is
Cut 8 sdrawkcab
zzaj So it was, so it is
so it will be.
GLOSSARY of Zzaj TiTLES