Last night's Crackleknob set at the Douglass Street Music Collective was a deep pleasure, both for the music and the fact that in that small, somewhat stark room, we played to the largest crowd we've had the privilege to reach so far, and they were with us! I feel these days that a lot of the community I'm a part of in NY are less than psyched about free-improv groups, and are more interested in projects with some amount of composition, and I think I understand why (lack of a feeling of evolution, perhaps?) but the comments I heard from people afterwards made me think that the answer is a long-term commitment to a group, like this one, a project that--while we might be making it up as we go along--embodies a spirit of a longer journey at hand than the one set of music you hear us make on stage one night. Hopefully you can hear in a group like ours, now in our sixth year, that we have developed something through a process that gives us a deep foundation, while also having the chance to continue discovering new things.
That all sounds kind of aloof and academic to me, so let me say this: I love Nate and Mary as people and musicians and our great group chemistry (in my opinion) was not instantaneous, though the first playing sessions we had were fun. I think we enjoyed each other as people and admired each other enough to stick with the project unhurriedly over time and shortly before recording together found a trust and relaxation that we retain to this day. Now when we set up to play I have a great feeling of confidence and humility that is rare. I feel like we have the combined strength at our disposal of our individual talents and the experiences we've shared and I'm glad we finally got to share it with a number good friends, including Josh Sinton's Holus Bolus, who killed it right before us, and Tom Blancarte and Brian Osborne's duo set, which I missed, but all accounts were glowing.