An ‘Album’ in the Old-School Sense of the Word -- Aaron Comess Goes From Rockin’ to Reflective, as Upcoming CD 'Blues For Use' Sculpts a Vivid Story, Without Lyrics
(Published: February 25, 2014)
An ‘Album' in the Old-School Sense of the Word -- "I've always thought of records like a movie where each song is a new scene" - Comess Goes From Rockin' to Reflective, as Upcoming CD Sculpts a Vivid Story, Without Lyrics
A Creative Evolution and a Confident Escalation for Acclaimed Drummer/Composer/Producer, as he Pushes Himself to Raise the Bar -- "I always strive to make a record with no dead weight. I want every note and moment of these songs to count and have meaning, like a song with words"
Acclaimed rock/Blues/jazz drummer/multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer Aaron Comess seeks to outdo himself on the upcoming ‘Blues for Use', and the result is a confident, rollicking, often reflective collection of guitar/drum-based instrumental songs that range from aggressive to understated. In a world of downloadable singles and short attention spans, Comess has intentionally created an ‘album' in the old-school sense of the word. He comments, "I've always thought of records like a movie where each song is a new scene" - this approach is evident as the tracks unfold, and the dramatic weight of his intelligent music takes hold of the listener. ‘Blues for Use' (out May 6th, and featuring band members Teddy Kumpel on guitar and Richard Hammond on electric bass, both of whom appeared on Comess' acclaimed 2011 release, ‘Beautiful Mistake',) marks a creative evolution and a confident escalation of Comess' prowess as a writer, as he "strives to make a record with no dead weight. I want every note and moment of these songs to count and have meaning, like a song with words."
A CD release concert is confirmed for May 9th at Rockwood Music Hall in NYC. Tickets here: http://www.ticketfly.com/...
Comess (who also happens to be a founding member of multi-platinum band Spin Doctors,) shares some thoughts on the album:
"I always strive to make a record with no dead weight. I want every note and moment of these songs to count and have meaning like a song with words.
Doing these records of my own has been such been such a liberating creative experience for me after working as band member in the Spin Doctors and working with so many other artists songwriters and producers over the last 25 years. I'm able to bring all that experience I've gained into my own thing and then bring this experience back into the other things I do...It all works together for me
I've always thought of records like a movie where each song is new scene. In an age where people's attention spans are pretty short, I still think of record making as a whole piece from start to finish that takes you thought different moods and colors but is all is part of one bigger picture.
I love the collaborative process with Teddy and Richard and what they add...they really put themselves in to this recording and helped make it something I'm really proud of... I stand 100% behind every note on this record.
Getting to write and record my own music with this band has been a really gratifying experience that I'm very proud of. I'm really lucky to have such and amazing versatile guitar player like Teddy to interpret these songs, and Rich and I have played with so many different artists together, live and in the studio, and have a developed an amazing chemistry where we don't have to say a word to each other about anything but where are we going to have lunch! Teddy, Richard and I have been playing out live regularly since we made our last record "Beautiful Mistake", and have developed a strong band chemistry that really shows on this new record.
I met Roman Klun, who has engineered and mixed all my records, when I did my first album "Catskills Cry" in 2006, from the recommendation of the great Bill Dillon who played guitar on "Catskills Cry". Since then we started our own recording studio, His House/Innsbrook Studios, and have done a lot of records together. He is extremely talented and versatile in the studio. He really got what i wanted this to sound like."
My natural instincts tends to go to the weird side of things, but I'm also just as interested in a simple pop song -- I tend to try to make my instrumental songs get to the point like a song with someone singing words would...
About a year ago I started studying with drum master Michael Carvin. This has been an extremely valuable experience so far and he has really pushed me to take things to the next level -- after 25 years in the music business I felt the need to break some old habits and move forward and he has really been inspiring in helping me achieve that goal.
At this point in my life I'm just as inspired by the new generation as the older one so it's a great time for me creatively. I'm right in the middle of it all and there is so much out there to draw from." Aaron Comess, New York, 2/2014
Comess recently made his first appearance at the legendary Blue Note in New York City, where he debuted a few songs from ‘Blues for Use'. Later this year, Comess will release another new album, a live CD recorded at Smoke Jazz in NYC. Details will be announced soon.
About the band:
Teddy has a bunch of bands under his own name, which can be explored at http://teddyjam.com. Teddy has played banjo with Feist, guitar with Rickie Lee Jones, sang backgrounds for Nine Inch Nails and is a producer and mixer on the NYC indie scene. He's also a featured soloist on many feature film scores composed by his long time pal and Emmy winner Alex Wurman including "Anchorman", "Confessions of a Dangerous Mind" and "Temple Grandin".
"Working with Aaron Comess on his music is always very gratifying and soulful whether in the studio or live. Not only do I get to grooveate with 2 of my favorite NYC musicians/friends, I also really enjoy letting Aaron guide my guitar in a direction I never would go on my own. He jokes that he tries to write things that make me uncomfortable to play because sometimes it takes me a lot of work trying to make the songs my own and interpret them in a way that makes him happy. It's always a satisfying challenge. Aaron is truly a visionary artist both on the drums and as a writer/producer." Teddy Kumpel
Joan Osborne, Patti Austin, Raul Midon and Tired Pony.
"I'm really proud of this record- Aaron has written amazing tunes and everyone really brought such a high level of musicianship to the table. The songs move from a beautiful mellow vibe to all-out rocking- so much fun to play with these guys." Richard Hammond
Comess, whose headlining appearances have been previewed in The NY Times, Modern Drummer and elsewhere, has long ties to jazz and Blues, and has played with such greats as Roy Hargrove, Brad Meldau, Robert Glasper, Bilal, Roswell Rudd, Arnie Lawrence, Deanna Kirk and more. The NY Times' Nate Chinen affirmed, "Comess has long been a jazz adept." As a member of the group New York Electric Piano (for the past 12 years,) Comess and band-mates scored a Top 10 jazz album with their most recent CD. Comess is currently studying with legendary drum master Michael Carvin.
In addition, Comess just appeared on legendary jazz trombonist's Roswell Rudd's record ...and played a sold-out concert with him at le poisson rouge (other noted musicians on the record and show were John Medeski, Steven Bernstein, Bob Dorough and Fay Victor).
In the studio, and on the heels of collaborating on Joan Osborne's Grammy-nominated ‘Bring it on Home,' Comess has been recording drums on her new record "Love and Hate " which she recorded in his house studios and is due out early April...He is also immersed in the Edie Brickell record he's been working on, with Charlie Sexton producing and playing guitar, and has been in the studio with James Maddock as well as a host of others. Comess played a track on Garland Jeffries' latest record, and also recorded a new album in NYC at The Magic Shop with German superstar Marius Westerhagen, to be released in April, accompanied by a tour of Germany. He recorded for the "loop loft' which is available in all guitar centers and online: http://www.thelooploft.co.... Comess was a featured performer at the Montreal Drum Festival in November:
Comess was recently the featured guest and was interviewed by Liberty Devitto of Billy Joel fame, at a concert presented by Modern Drummer Magazine.
Aaron Comess also happens to be the drummer and a founding member of the multi-platinum-selling SPIN DOCTORS. The band recently released a new album of original Blues music, ‘If the River Was Whiskey,' which earned the best reviews of their career and was featured in such A-level outlets as CONAN (TBS-TV), USA Today, Elmore Magazine, M Music & Musicians Magazine, RELIX Magazine, NY Observer, Time Out NY and much more. The band is current on a European tour.
Drummer/multi-instrumentalist/composer/producer Aaron Comess won wide acclaim for his powerful 2011 solo CD, ‘Beautiful Mistake'. For Comess, who wrote and produced the album, ‘Beautiful Mistake' marked an opportunity to step out of the shadows of his many notable collaborative efforts, and into the spotlight. He deftly created sweeping songs that were emotive without words, leaving his commanding drum work and the ‘voice' of his band's electric guitar (Teddy Kumpel) and bass (Richard Hammond) to weave a dramatic soundscape.
He is a musician's musician, long respected as a collaborator who has played on, co-written and/or produced over two hundred albums with an acclaimed and diverse roster of artists including Osborne, Edie Brickell, Isaac Hayes, Marc Cohn, Bilal, Rachael Yamagata, James Maddock, and more. Other upcoming and/or recent work includes Phil Ramone, Andrea Bocelli, David Foster, Malcolm Burn and Natasha Bedingfield. Comess is active in the local NYC rock, jazz, experimental music scenes and singer songwriter circuits, and records and produces at his ‘His House Studio' in the East Village. As a member of the band New York Electric Piano, Comess recently had a Top 10 CD on the CMJ charts. Comess has successfully navigated the tricky music industry for over 20 years, managing to keep his original band (Spin Doctors) together, build an active career as a sideman/session player/producer, and make his own records as a composer/leader. With ‘Beautiful Mistake', he shines as a songwriter and continues to distinguish himself. Visit Comess' eclectic Discography to get a sense of the wide range of projects he's been involved with over the years, from Chris Whitley's final album to Joan Osborne's ‘Righteous Love' to a dozen releases as a member of Spin Doctors: http://www.aaroncomess.co...
Key press coverage here:
More Information: http://www.aaroncomess.com