During the seemingly endless shutdown of 2020, I began to think a lot about Colonel Aureliano Buendia, the character from Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s brilliant novel One Hundred Years Of Solitude, who had at one time supported his family by making and selling little tiny fish out of gold. As an old man, after many years of being away fighting wars, he returned to his shop to resume making his little gold fish. At first they sold simply because they had been made by the now famous colonel, but eventually no one left was interested. Nonetheless, every day the colonel continued his work of making his little gold fish. Because he had only a little gold left, he would melt down the fish from the day before in order to continue his work.
The shutdown really drove home for me the fact that those of us with the impulse to create, or dedication to a practice, will do what we do even if we were to never again have a chance to share our work. It is our practice, our way of processing the world, and for me at least, the way I keep it moderately together during challenging times. I dearly love connecting with other musicians and playing for my fellow humans, but I now know that as long as I have some kind of practice, I’ll be ok.
Thankfully, at the time of this writing performances are happening again, and recordings are being made. I’m grateful to be able to share some of my little gold fish with you now.
It’s a project that had been put on hold by the pandemic, but as things began to open up in May of 2021 I was finally able to record with this amazing group of some of Chicago’s most creative, swinging, and in demand musicians. We recorded four of Geof’s tunes, and six of mine, and I hope you enjoy listening as much as we did preparing and playing.
Oct. 23 2021
released February 19, 2022
Darren Johnston - trumpet
Geof Bradfield - tenor/soprano sax, bass clarinet
Clark Sommers - bass
Dana Hall - drums
tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9 composed by Darren Johnston
tracks 3, 5, 7, 10 composed by Geof Bradfield
recorded May 3, 2021
engineered and mixed by Ken Christianson at Pro Musica, Chicago
Photograph by Reuben Radding
Design by John Bishop
My musical interests rotate mostly around playing lots and lots of trumpet, composing instrumental music, writing and
singing songs, and performing all styles of jazz, chamber music, experimental and purely improvised music, as well as traditional music of the Balkans, Greece, and Macedonia.
After 21 years in San Francisco, I'm now mostly living in Brooklyn, but have horn and will travel.......more
On "Painters Winter", William Parker and company explore some fascinating musical spaces, a set of songs that stretch out and expand in a way that ably demonstrates both the players' impressive skills and Parker's exceptional gifts as a composer. rikm