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This record, "Counterpart", is so named for several reasons.
The first is that I conceived of it as an electroacoustic, overdub-laden 'answer' to my debut trio record, the all-acoustic, virtually unedited "Time with People". I wanted to show a different side of my musical self and also make use of some half-composed sketches that hadn't felt right for the first record.
After we finished recording and post-production and I had spent some time with it, a second thread of meaning began to emerge: each song is made of two distinct ideas, the dichotomy either consisting of actual contrasting sections or the roles played by Jon, Fab, and me as we play the tune.
I can briefly illustrate this phenomenon by describing a few of the songs.
The title track, which opens the record, begins with a hard-driving, tightly constructed repeated figure in 4/4, which gives way to a more melodic (but still aggressive) answering section in 5/8. These two parts comprise the 'head', but instead of cycling back to the top for solos after we state the melody, the high energy subsides, and a much looser, freely improvised, unaccompanied Wurlitzer solo emerges. At the end of this quite long improvisation, which expands some of the harmony from the head, the opening figure is re-introduced, and we take the head out, with a little more Wurlitzer solo mixed in.
On "Map of August", the contrast is between a constant, unchanging piano figure and an improvised bass solo (a beautiful one, by Jon). There is also another version of the same composition, later in the record, which creates a larger, vibe-based counterpoint with the first rendition by employing a minimalist, slow, drawn-out approach to the same piano figure.
"Postcards" has two separate contrasting elements. The tune has two distinct written sections, which contrast each other in terms of the material but are similar in that they are both heavily notated with no deviation from the written part. Then there is a breakdown into total group improvisation, with no pulse and no preconceived shape or harmony, which provides a respite from the exciting but somewhat airless first part.
These are just a few examples; you will quickly hear that each song contains this contrapuntal element.
There are other echoes of meaning. I have lived in New York City since 2005, and my first record was with my NYC-based trio. But I grew up in Toronto, where we made "Counterpart", and that city has strong 'home' associations for me. I even have a sense of compartmentalizing certain aspects of myself and grouping them with one city or another, to match the way my life is or was in either place. So during the recording process I had a sense of inhabiting my Toronto persona.
One final spin: I used a lot of Wurlitzer 200A on this record, with effects, in addition to the acoustic piano. Sometimes the two instruments are layered on top of each other, through overdubbing, setting up a kind of synthetic interaction between my two musical selves as they trade melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic duties. The piano sound is wood and wire; the 200A, its counterpart, is electric in every sense.
Some very smart, creative, and hardworking people made this record possible: Emilio Reyes Leblanc, Marc Koecher, Suresh Singaratnam, Jon Maharaj, Fabio Ragnelli, Melissa Stylianou, Gary Wang, Eric Doob, Matt Stevens, and Jeff Reynolds.
Special thanks to the Canada Council for the Arts for funding this recording.
Jamie Reynolds - piano, wurlitzer, effects
Jon Maharaj - acoustic bass
Fabio Ragnelli - drums
Recorded at Revolution Recording in Toronto in April, 2012
Engineered by Marc Koecher and Steven Koszler
Mixed by Marc Koecher and Emilio Reyes Leblanc
Mastered by Joao Carvalho, Joao Carvalho Mastering, Toronto
Album Cover Art by Max Coleman
Produced by Emilio Reyes Leblanc
Executive Producer: Eric Forman
(c) Human Resource Records, LLC