Storm Song was a composition I wrote for Storm Nilson, the guitar player heard on track 2, “Paris Commune”. He is a great person and and talented player; and was only 22 at the time he recorded on this album.
This piece started as a study in random composition. 12 notes were put into a hat and 7 drawn out to create a random scale. The entire theme is made just from those 7 notes in all 3 parts, the melody, harmony and bass. The chord changes for improvising were a close interpretation of the harmony from the main theme and the interlude was written over those interpreted chord changes.
This piece was inspired by the vision of a post class/post Capitalist society. Capitalism like Feudalism, is a system based on labor which is organized specifically along class lines. The main two classes found today are owners or the appropriating class (Capitalist who own and control the means of commodity production) and workers or the producing class (those who sell their labor to survive). The middle class is more of ideological illusion that a material reality, the “further reading” link below does a great job explaining the myth of the middle class. Although a classless society has not yet been successfully organized by humanity, at this point in history, humans have developed the productive forces globally to support and maintain such a society. As a human race, we now have the ability produce more than enough to feed, shelter, medicate and educate the entire world, but since the forces of production are controlled privately for profit, human needs are not being met.
I was influenced by Bach’s use of spread triads from the cello suites and incorporated them along with metric groupings going over the bar line. I wrote the harmonic progression first using only Major and Minor chords which can be ordered nearly randomly and still sound nice without being functional in a diatonic sense. This last track includes Jason Harnell on drums, Joel Peloquin on guitar, Leonard Thompson on keys, David J. Carpenter on acoustic bass guitar and Matt Otto on tenor sax.
Josh Welchez, a fantastic Los Angeles based trumpet player, composer and educator, has recorded and released his debut album. It was a pleasure to play with Josh and I hope we can record again in the future.
Q trio was recorded over a three day period in December of 1999 and features Danton Boller on Bass, Qasim Naqvi on Drums and (myself) Matt Otto on tenor sax. We had just finished the album “Red” the week before with guitarist Greg Touhey and thought it would be nice to document some of our free playing. The three of us were all living together in a large apartment in Brooklyn and were playing all the time together, nearly every day, mostly free. I hadn’t listened back much to these recordings since we had done them and engineer David J. Carpenter (Big As Records) and I sat down last summer and went through 10 hours of material, selecting some of our favorite takes to mix. Vol.1 represents some highlights from those three days. All the material is free improvisation save the track titled “Red In Orange” which is based on the chord progression to the Bill Evan’s composition “Blue In Green”. Most of the tracks are dedications to favorite influential artists. I hope you enjoy the music!
1.) Cecil (Taylor)
2.) Blount (for Sun Ra)
3.) Revolution (for John Zorn)
4.) Fit Reprise (for Rashid Bakr)
5.) Red in Orange (Based on Blue and Green)
6.) Talking Blues (for Archie Shepp)
7.) Neanderthal (for George Garzone)
8.) No Justice No Peace
9.) Aphotic Lullaby (for Joe McPhee)
10.) Gato (Barbieri)
11.) Halcyon (for Jimmy Giuffre)
12.) 115 Ocean Ave.
13.) Brotzmann and Bennink (Peter and Hans)
14.) Bedtime Story (for Albert Ayler)
15.) Yoga Duets (For Doug Yates)
Matt Otto is the exclusive copyright holder for both the compositions and recordings of the material on this site. No commercial or creative use of this material be undertaken without the express written permission of the owner/author Matt Otto (ASCAP), thank you.
Danton Boller was born in Gary, Indiana in 1972. He spent his childhood in Northwest Indiana until his family relocated to Huntington Beach, California at the age of 12. He first took up the electric bass when he was 10 years old but it wasn’t until his high school years that he developed a deep love of jazz. In 1990, Danton began playing the doublebass and studying with the “Senator” Eugene J. Wright of the Dave Brubeck Quartet. He continued his studies with the “Senator” while earning a degree in music from California State University Long Beach. In 1997 he received the Shelly Manne New Talent Award from the Los Angeles Jazz Society and moved to New York City.
Danton has recorded, performed, and toured with some of the world’s greatest artists including: Roy Hargrove, Seamus Blake, David Kikoski, Bennie Wallace, Mulgrew Miller, Alvin Queen, Willie Jones III, Anthony Wilson, Adam Rafferty, Jon Fishman, Matt Munisteri, Robert Glasper, Ronnie Mathews, Steve Nelson, and The Village Vanguard Orchestra.
Danton is currently a member of the Roy Hargrove Quintet.
A composer and performer of multi stylistic music, Qasim Naqvi has been involved in many musical fronts from free improvisation, to rock and electronica to contemporary classical music. As a composer, Qasim has produced works for The California Ear Unit, The Loos Ensemble of the Netherlands, The New Century Ensemble, Midnight Winds and Others. He is currently musical director for Ensemble Pakistan. He has completed fellowships at Harvest Works, Art Omi, Academie Schloss Solitude and Steim. A native of New York, Qasim’s origins lie in improvised music. While living and studying in New York, he worked as a drummer with artists like Reggie Workman, Don Byron, Butch Morris, Brandon Ross, Shahzad Ismaily, Elysian Fields and others. Heavily immersed in the downtown scene, he felt a growing urgency to broaden his understanding of composition and decided to pursue a master’s degree in composition and performance at California Institute of The Arts. He is currently a member of the Axis Trio, Dirty Squid, The Pleasure Circus Band, The Beggar Collective and Henry Gummer and Friends. Qasim has also produced works for numerous Coreagraphers in New York and Europe including Gabri Christa, Yael Caravan, Tai Jiminez, Tin Pen Chi and Adapt. His film works have been seen on The Sundance Channel, HBO, NBC, PBS, The Tribeca Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Claremont Ferrant and Others. At the moment his time is split between Los Angeles, his hometown of New York and Europe.