Tuesday, May 29, 2012

"FIRST ANCESTOR" The Brink/Jeff Phillips & Friends (2002)

 Star-trail, Castle Hill, New Zealand
Dr. Fiorella Terenzi & Jeff Phillips,
NASA Goldstone Radio-telescope, 1992

The Brink/Jeff Phillips & Friends



Recorded at Duke Dixon's, Oxford, Canterbury New Zealand May 2002
Engineered by Duke Dixon & Ian McAllister
Production:  Ian McAllister, Jeff Phillips

Carmel Courtney:  saxophones, vocals
Redford 'Dread' Grennel:  drums & percussion
Jeff Phillips:  Steinway 9-foot grand piano, electric bass, shaker egg

with additional tracks by

James Wilkinson:  six-string fretless bass w/E-bow
Blake Dyer:  trombone, mouthpiece

Spoken Word:  from Wisdom Walking series, Barry Brailsford
Cover photo:  Jeff Phillips star-trail, Castle Hill, Canterbury, NZ

"This very spatial...I mean, special...piece of music is inapired by and dedicated to 'Te Wai Pounamu', the South Island of Aotearoa, and the ancient Waitaha peoples of Lemuria who once lived here.  Originally a jam between three musicians who had never played together before, 'First Ancestor' has evolved into a fully-blown expression of 'geo-sidereal psychedelic-acoustic space-jazz.'  After the initial jam, the legendary James Wilkinson returned from Melbourne and added an often-brilliant bass-line;  later I filled in some simpler parts, and Blake 'boned' us.  I've added such sonic anomalies as galaxy sounds from Dr. Fiorella Terenzi, environmental acoustics from David Dunn, and songs of the hump-back whale.  Barry Brailsford tells us that 'stone is the first ancestor.' There you have it. Enjoy!

Jeff Phillips
Christchurch New Zealand
September 2002

Monday, May 28, 2012


The Brink/Jeff Phillips
Here in its entirety is my first serious musical recording done in a state-of-the-art studio, my first...and only, to date...recording that I've taken the trouble to reproduce in cd form.  I recorded these nine grand piano improvisations on 23 July, the Egyptian New year, of 1998 at Whitehorse Studios ini Portland, Oregon.  In the (boreal) autumn of 1998 I had approximately 1000 cd's manufactured and proceeded to get them out to everyone I knew around the world.

I never claimed actually really to 'play' piano in the true sense of people who are really good.  I have always just done my own thing with it.  My piano playing has never been about technical virtuosity or how many 'notes' I'm playing or what key it might be in.  Even though I played trumpet and tuba and read music for several years in bass and treble clef, I never carried that over into my own music.  My music for me has always been more about feeling and spirit than technical  ability and notes.

So don't expect any Bach...although one person said this reminded him of "21st century Bach'...and don't expect any Chopin...although someone said it reminded them of Debussy's solo piano compositions.  It's also been compared to Emerson, Lake and Palmer...but I'm NOWHERE near as good as Keith Emerson.  Then there's the George Winston comparison.  Once someone over-heard me playing back in the early 1990's and said "Jeff, you sound like George Winston on acid."  I liked that, and understood exactly what he meant.  Comparisons have also been made with Keith Jarrett, whose playing I admore greatly.  I don't grunt when I play, but I'll NEVER be even close to his league of playing piano.  By the way, Jarrett was one of two keyboard players who participated in the jams recorded with Miles Davis at the same time Woodstock was happening that went on to become the legendary 'Bitches Brew' album.

As I have time I'll re-type the liner notes above.  You can listen to the whole cd as one continuous set thanks to Soundcloud above.  You should also be able to isolate and/or down-load individual tracks.

You will recognize several of these tracks as we've used a few in the soundtracks to three of our films so far.