Tommy Mars (Hammond organ, fender Rhodes electric piano, vocals); Walt Fowler (trumpet, flugel horn); Bruce Fowler (trombone); Larry Klimas (tenor sax, soprano sax); Kurt McGettrick (bass clarinet, baritone sax); Arthur Barrow (electric bass); Vinnie Colaiuta (drums).
The release of this performance of four group improvisations from the evening of August 22, 2002 is the first official release of one of the free form sessions I have been hosting at my studio in Los Angeles since the early 1990's. It also marks the first, last, and only time this particular group of musicians played together. Though Bruce, Walt, Tommy, Kurt and Larry had been involved in many other such sessions, this was the first time Vinnie had joined us. I believe it was one of the best line-ups I have been able to assemble. Unfortunately, Kurt is no longer with us, so this recording captured the only performance of that special combination. We miss you, Kurt.
The MVP jams got their start as a memorial musical get together shortly after Miles Davis died. I invited a few friends over, including Tommy, Bruce and Robby Krieger, to jam on some Miles-y sounding grooves as a sort of tribute to the great musician. We enjoyed doing it so much that after that night, we got together occasionally when we could with various combinations of players to explore the free form realm. The idea behind these improv sessions has evolved into an effort to compose music as a group spontaneously in real time.
We rarely have any preconception of where the music might lead: the idea is for the music to be free to go where it may as it takes on a life of it's own. This might seem like a crazy idea to some, but musicians of of the highest caliber that understand the concept and have the right kind of sensitivity and listening quickness can often create music that is pretty amazing. These guys can do it. I am honored to play with them.
These recordings are unabridged, unedited, without overdubs, and represent all of the music played that evening, without omission. There was no rehearsal. The lyrics sung by Tommy were as spontaneous as the music. It was all just for fun, really!
My special thanks to Jon Larsen for his efforts towards making it possible for this music to be heard. - Arthur Barrow
This CD is a must for all Zappa fans, and as FZ put it: Jazz ain't dead, it just smells funny!