Peter Wiegold previews the first of the new season of Club Inégales this Thursday 22nd May, with recollections of the recording sessions for the album ‘Envoi’, a homage to Miles Davis which is released on Club Inégales label on 22nd May 2014. He writes:
At breakfast in the hotel near Montreux, before the second day of our recordings in September 2011, I was concerned about trumpeter Torbjorn Hultmark. He had been unhappy, distant, the previous day. And this was the day to try to make the Miles Davis homage I’d been intending for some time.
I started to get frustrated – but that was not going to do any good. So I walked up behind him in the breakfast room tapped him on the shoulder, and said ‘are you here? He smiled.
We went to the studio, out in he country, and all day I tried to tease and cajoled him towards his most eloquent playing. A lyrical evocation of Miles, from within Torbjorn’s own voice, and one that, that day, kept dissolving into just breath, as if the last breath before leaving.
We had a few starting points but the music was mostly improvised, I directed the band with signals and shouts, and we kept the red light on the whole time. At one point late morning we settled on a harmony, a groove and bass player Ben Markland added a classic Miles bass from Miles Ahead. To this day he refuses to say whether he knew this was an actual Miles bass.
Around a pedal C, it led to dark F minor over C, then C minor harmonies from pianist Martin Butler then solos from me and Torbjorn – then the music disappeared into air again. This was the heart of the day.
More than a year later I remembered that Fm over C has always been the classical sign of ‘farewell’ in music. It is at the end of Bach’s St Matthew Passion, at the end of Mahler’s last ‘farewell’ movement in ‘the Song of the Earth. Low C’s, low Ebs, F minor – and no resolution.
So the new CD is entitled, ‘Envoi’ ‘ farewell’, last breaths, Miles in the mountains. The mountains angry, creating a storm, that he is going.
Working with the material for 2 years I’ve made many versions and edits. We freewheeled that day leaving so many possibilities. Miles pioneered that process of creative editing, creating new work out of studio recordings. But now the 12 track CD is shaped and finished.
Envoi will be released this Thursday May 22nd at Club Inégales, Euston We will play live in the spirit of that day in the mountains, come and join us if you can.