Below is a writing piece titled The Storm and The Calm written by Lucas Sader as the liner notes for The Lucas Sader Project's debut album Apollo.
The Storm and The Calm
Leaders are born somewhere between the storm and the calm, the seeds of unrealized change and the blossoms of a new reality.
Trumpeter Miles Davis is widely recognized as both a musical and cultural icon. Miles led many paradigm shifts within jazz and beyond, through the unrelenting innovation of himself and his music, the effects of which have yet to be fully realized. Above anything else, Miles was a leader. Time and time again he acted as an artistic beacon, guiding music safely through many foggy mornings and torrential storms.
Within the ancient labyrinth of Greek mythology there were twelve principal deities who made their home atop Mount Olympus. Apollo was one of these Twelve Olympians and represented a litany of virtues within their culture, including music. He was director of The Muses, a group of goddesses who oversaw the arts and sciences, and the lyre was his instrument of choice. I titled this album after Apollo because both he and Miles are iconic symbols who embody the power, beauty, and grace which music possesses.
Miles constantly innovated throughout his career. His first groundbreaking project as a leader, the 1949 record Birth of the Cool, broke down racial barriers and epitomized the sound of cool jazz. Miles popularized the use of modes within jazz through the title track on his legendary 1958 album Milestones, and in 1969 he recorded Bitches’ Brew, which was a critical stepping-stone toward the jazz-rock/fusion movement of the 1970’s. Many of his records actually have the phrase “Directions in Music by Miles Davis” on their cover.
This record pays homage to Miles’ legendary “Second Great” Quintet of the 1960’s, which featured tenor saxophonist Wayne Shorter, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter, and young drumming phenom Tony Williams. Individually, each musician is widely considered to be one of the most influential artists to ever play their instrument, but as a musical unit they were able to achieve something greater. Their extraordinarily high level of interaction, relentless creativity, and amazingly organic overall sound redefined the quintessential sound of a small jazz group and changed the landscape of music forever.
The Lucas Sader Project is dedicated to providing it’s own unique perspective on music while honoring those who have walked before us. This recording features world-renowned trumpeter Derrick Gardner, alto and tenor saxophonist Paul Balcain, pianist Paul De Gurse, and bassist Karl Kohut. Each member of the group brought their own musical concept and sound to the music while capturing the spirit of Miles’ Quintet. It was an honor to share this incredible experience with four musicians who are professionals and people of the highest caliber.
Musically, Miles was always moving forward. I felt it was essential to do the same in selecting and interpreting the diverse mosaic of material that comprises this album, through including works that Miles’ group performed and recorded along with my own original compositions and arrangements.
Our interpretations of jazz standards which Miles’ group arranged, Cole Porter’s All of You and Victor Young’s Stella By Starlight, are included here, along with tunes written by members of Miles’ group, including Eighty-One by Ron Carter, Victor Feldman’s Joshua, and The Sorcerer by Herbie Hancock. My arrangement of Miles’ classic ballad Blue in Green and three of my original compositions, the title track I penned in Miles’ memory, Apollo , our theme for the album, Blues for Wynton Kelly, and Moonrise, round out the recording’s material.
I sincerely hope you enjoy listening to this album. I know that we had an incredible time recording it for you. Thank you all so much for your continuing support. Always remember that there is a leader within all of us.
- Lucas Sader
Lucas Sader Music l 765 Oakenwald Avenue l Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada l (204) 293-6803 l contact@LucasSaderMusic.com