When I first moved to Los Angeles, I did a lot of recording on various projects with drummer Jerry Kalaf, now musical director for the Jazz Tap Ensemble, a dance group that is an amazing blend of the two styles. One night while we were talking, Jerry told me he liked to relax and listen to the day’s recording results after having dinner with his family. He called it “The Self-Indulgence Hour”.
So, in the spirit of that hallowed hour, I offer a recording of John Adams’ Gnarly Buttons for which I played banjo, mandolin and guitar, along with the LA Philharmonic New Music Group in February 2007.
The first movement (with banjo) is not included in the broadcast and there is a voiceover interview with John Adams during much of the music, but overall it’s still a great piece on one of America’s most original composers.