The Blind Strut [Test Pressing]
- Three Ways From Someday (3:36)
- On Pluto There is a Nice Park (8:57)
- (This Is) Afternoon Freak (3:21)
- The Blind Strut (7:08)
- Highest Order (14:24)
- Compassion, Confidence, and Connection (5:14)
My inspiration for the Afternoon Freak project got originally lit by Big Ego studio man Chris Schlarb and it's to him I dedicated my involvement 'pert-near as much as I do the two co-conspirators Matt Mottel and Danny Frankel who I joined up with in Chris Schlarb's pad to create what I'm here writing about: the debut album from Afternoon Freak, The Blind Strut. It was Chris Schlarb who also connected me to the good people at Joyful Noise Recordings who asked me to curate an album for their White Label Series. In my mind, it was totally natural this choice should be the Afternoon Freak work cuz of the cats involved—made total sense to me.
What Chris Schlarb provided for me was the opportunity to connect with one cat I had never met before who lived on a different coast and was from another generation. This is proof to someone like me how powerful music can be, it's got the stuff to overcome "realities" such as that in a transcendent way. Young Matt Mottel in my mind probably instigated this whole adventure but it was Chris Schlarb that made it a "reality"—he chose a beautiful cat I've known a long time for stickman, Danny Frankel who just last year joined me and incredible bass brother Devin Hoff in an improvised trio project called the Emma Goldman Bust-out Brigade so I had an anchor to hold me fast in the face of the big scary sitch of never having met keyboard man Matt before.
The whole event involving us three... actually four—we gotta include recording man Chris Schlarb—happened in one afternoon (January 14, 2017) at Big Ego and of course for me it was a pants-shitter cuz of the sitch but right away and one at a time everyone involved made me feel more and more calm without losing focus and edge (one time when I was recording my first opera and telling drummer man Stephen Hodges I was scared he told me, "Watt, sometimes being a little scared is like being a little excited" and I never forgot that), without losing the "excitement" of not knowing what might result but still having the nerve along with your cats to throw the dice as hard possible with fists in the air yet having a trippy kind of humility all tied up there in the crux—this is what I've found to help with the listening, guitar man Nels Cline taught me that listening is most important improv collab tool ever. Also, the BIG IDEA that life's a classroom and everyone's got something to teach Watt. That makes me feel really grateful to everyone involved with this project to have Watt aboard. Hopefully, I provided good glue to stick stuff to for Matt and Danny—these brothers deserve nothing less!