Live at Tierney’s

Diane Moser’s Composers Big Band. Live at Tierney’s, New Arts NA-001, 1999.

Track Listing and samples

  1. Triple Blues
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  2. Air
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  3. Stand Clear of the Closing Doors
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  4. In Walked Bo
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  5. Hale Bop
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  6. Beatrice
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  7. Cambio de Corazon
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  8. Too Close for Comfort
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  9. Spirits
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Recorded live at Tierney’s Tavern, Montclair, NJ on Jan. 17, 1999.
Produced by Diane Moser.
Recorded by John Guth & Kosaku Nakamura.
Mixed and Mastered by John Guth.
Cover Illustration: Steve Mayo

Liner Notes

With the help of many musicians, I formed CBB in November of 1996, as a forum for presenting new music for big band.

Every month I invite composers from within and outside the band to bring in their new works for us to explore. Our guest artists have included Oliver Lake, Jim McNeely, Pete McGuinness, Sue Terry, Joey Sellers, Matt Wilson, Dave Rimelis, Walter Thompson and Linda Guarino, to mention just a few.

On any given night, audiences can expect the unexpected, experiencing the interplay that evolves as we work out n new piece. We haue per performed everything from inside straight-up big band, collective improv, accompanying poems, storytelling, sound painting and a mini-opera.

I am very fortunate to work with such dedicated, talented and creative musicians.
— Diane Moser

“Triple Blues” was originally recorded on my quartet album “Spacewalk”, one of several big band versions of tunes originally done in small group settings. It is a simple tune that becomes more complex, with interludes, counterpoint, and in unison band chorus.
— Ed Xiques

“Air” has a soaring, free-flowing character. Following the introduction, a simple theme appears which serves as a cantus firmus as uoices enter one by one, together suggesting currents of air or water. This theme and others mingle and take various forms as the piece unfolds. Although the piece has an improvisatory quality, it has a key scheme based on the notes of four major 7th chords moving in minor thirds. This unifying harmonic idea, which dictates the keys of the large sections as well as many chord progressions and melodies throughout the piece, amplifies the sense of forward motion inherent in the music.
Rob Middleton

“Stand Clear of the Closing Doors” is a programmatic piece in which the listener can experience the aural equivalent of strolling through the park on the way toward the subway station, the wait on the platform, the bing-bong of the subway doors closing, and the subsequent ride ahead.
— Barbara Allen

“In Walked Bo (Diddley)” is an arrangement of a song by my dear friend Tom Bourcier, pianist and composer from Michigan. I played string bass in Tom’s trio for three years while living in central Illinois.

“In Walked Bo” was just one of Tom’s many wonderful compositions that we used to play. The arrangement was written originally as a Bass Trombone/Baritone Sax feature but mutated into its present form as a “Trombone Section Extravaganza” through many performances at Tierney’s Tavern in Montclair, NJ.
— Wayne Coniglio

I wrote “Hale Bop” one weekend in March, and titled it during a conversation with a friend (and drummer), who mentioned seeing the comet in 5 different countries. The piece is centered around the tuba line, which is used to push the composition continually forward, like a moving comet. The bass fadeout at the end represents the comet ‘s diminishing tail. Both solos are free form.
— Jeff Raheb

“Beatrice” is an arrangment I wrote originally for Ray Charles. I learned the song off of the Joe Henderson album “The State of the Tenor, Vol. 1.” The arrangement hit me all of a sudden while we were in the Northeast, I couldn’t write the parts douwn fast enough, writing all of the parts in just a few hours.

Ray didn’t get to hear the chart until we were in Paris a week later. He was just sitting there at the keyboard kind of figuring out the changes and afterwards he said, “What’s the name of that honey?” I told him that it was a Sam Rivers song called Beatrice. He said, “Beatrice” (with the emphasis on the second syllable), and, with a big smile and a big lean backwards, said, “I like that.”
— Wayne Coniglio

“Cambio de Corazon” — with Cambio I tried to take a lyrical song-like melody and see how far I could bend it harmonically without breaking it. Ed Xiques does a great job negotiating the tune as well as some very offbeat chord changes.
— Jim Cifelli

“Too Close for Comfort” was written at the request of a very fine vocalist, Rachel Lee, whom I have asked to perform with UI Jazz Band II some years ago. I also use it as a demo for young writers who want to know something about 4 and 5-part writing using altered chords. A case in point: the last chord is a Major 13#11b9 (alto 1 has the b9). Too Close for Comfort? One must always try to express the lyrics!!
— Tom Wirtel

“Spirits” is a slow blues, written when I was a member of the Illinois Jacquet Big Band. It is dedicated to the spirits of past masters of the blues, who continue to influence the evolving jazz tradition that the Composers Big Band represents. Specifically, the spirits of Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, and Gil Evans were looming large when I composed this piece.
— Matt Haviland

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