Sandhills Reunion

Jerry Granelli: Electro acoustic percussion and vocal effects
Jeff Reilly: Bass Clarinet, Clarinet, assorted exotic flutes and vocal effects
Christoph Both: Cello
David Mott: Baritones Sax
Francois Houle: Clarinet
J. Anthony Granelli: Electric Bass (USA)
Christian Kugel: Electric Guitar (Germany)
Rinde Eckert: Vocals / Text (USA)
Produced by Lee Townsend

This project is a most extraordinary interweaving of words and music. The text, written and delivered by New York actor/playwright/singer Rinde Eckert, is a linked series of internal monologues and dialogues using the persona of Billy the Kid as a thematic touchstone and the Sandhills region of Nebraska as the landscape of memory: a narrative meditation on fame, character, love, mortality… The music, played by a Canadian and international septet brought together for the occasion, counterpoints and colours the words, conjuring up its own mythic locations from the history of blues and jazz while making it all new again.

The Jerry Granelli Septet is a bold new venture for jazz veteran Jerry Granelli. Jerry has assembled a group of outstanding musicians that have a powerful musical link; fresh, potent sound. Between the seven members and vocalist there is a wide range of musical styles – jazz, classical, rock, blues, world music, urban groove, theater, etc. and what they have created together reflects the sum total of this collective musical experience. Amongst their stylistic diversity they discovered a remarkable similarity between them in their approach to music – a compatibility that allows them to travel immediately to the heart of the sound – to make a new kind of new music, in the moment.

The Jerry Granelli Septet pieces were created using a series of structures — flow charts to focus the musical work. The group developed these structures through improvisation to find the real “flesh and blood” of the pieces and allow them to take on their own life. The music was then handed over to Ekert who through his own experiences and in the mood of the musical pieces wrote the appropriate stories and text to accompany the compositions. Together music and text form an aural landscape masterpiece. It is through improvisation that this septet finds the heart of the music. However, they also understand that improvisation must be contained by discipline, skill and practice in order to find the balance between control and freedom that is so necessary to make this kind of music work.