In these past two years, with some grace, I have experienced much that affirms my ever deepening to commitment music. I was accepted in 2007 and 2008 as a MacDowell Colony fellow. This 100 year-old artist colony in Peterborough, New Hampshire is where, on retreat for three weeks each year, I went to write this music.
I also began studying with the much sought-after piano teacher Charlie Banacos. The things I am learning with him strongly influenced the shapes of the melodies and improvisations on this CD.
Finally, for the past year I have had the great privilege of rehearsing with the legendary Afro-Peruvian singer Eva Ayllon. My band mates on this CD, Jorge Perez Albela and Jorge Roeder, introduced me to her. They patiently taught me the exciting and tricky 12/8 “festejo” rhythm, which is finding its way into my heart and musical expression.
Boston, Massachusetts, where I live, is often referred to as “Bean Town”. Both Jorges are from Lima, Peru and both originally came to Boston to study music. Hence, the title of this CD: “Lima Beans.”
We recorded on January 29 and March 26, 2009 at WGBH Fraser Performance Studio and were assisted by the very skilled and musically astute recording engineer, Antonio Oliart Ros. He captured a warm and strikingly clear room-sound in this brand new studio, which has 40-foot ceilings, a nine-foot Hamburg Steinway Concert Grand Piano and wooden floors and surfaces. This is my best sounding CD by far.
I composed all of the tunes except “Everything I Love,” which was written by Cole Porter. The tenth track on this album (think of it as a bonus track), contains my singing debut. It brought me great joy to write and learn to sing this song, but it should be pretty obvious early on that I am not a singer. Still, I hope that you will enjoy the sing-along nature of this melody and the beautiful message it conveys. The lyrics for “When Singing Just Sing,” were taken from the book of the same name by Narayan Leibenson Grady. She teaches at the Cambridge Insight Meditation Center in Cambridge, Massachusetts, which she helped found in 1985.
I wish to extend my gratitude to all of you, my colleagues, friends, and fans, who continue to find something in the music I play and produce that brings us closer. I am heartened by your support and interest. I hope you will enjoy this music.
“When breathing just breathe. In each moment be aware, ever resting in the heart, undistracted, calm and clear.” Narayan Leibenson Grady.