Over the last several years I've wanted to record a project that featured the interaction between my harmonica style and a 6 string lap steel guitar. I wanted that interaction to center around unison playing but be voiced an octave apart where possible.
I got the idea from listening to jazz greats like Ben Webster, Sweets Edison and Louis Jordan who used to do this sort of thing quite a bit. The timbre of their sax and trumpet played in this manner was really unique. I chose the lap steel as my counterpoint because it closely emulates the harmonica in how the notes are attacked and accented. To make this happen I called on Grammy Award Winner Rob Ickes to play lap steel.
The 10 songs on this CD are all special to me. Most of them have been part of my live performances for the past several years. I'm excited to finally make them part of my discography. Here are a few of the highlights:
"Reet Petite & Gone" and "Boogie Woogie Blue Plate" are two Louis Jordan tunes that I wanted to record from the first time I heard them. I also liked the idea of having the harmonica and lap steel emulate the horn section from the original recordings.
"Here There & Everywhere" is simply one of my favorite Beatles' compositions. McCartney has been quoted as saying it's his favorite. I did my own octave voicing on this one. Rob voiced all the classic ooh's and ahh's on lap steel.
"A Smooth One" by Benny Goodman and "Kitty" by Sweets Edison are two more examples of songs that just work for this concept. Again, a real section sort of feel...
"All Too Soon" & "I Remember Clifford" are classic ballads. I love the starkness and beauty of both these melodies and the open feel of these tracks.
I had two of my favorite players on the back line: Roger Spencer on bass, and Chris Brown on drums. Both of these cats are so solid and incredibly musical that everything else just fell into place!
The guitar chair was occupied by none other than Pat Bergeson. What Pat played was outstanding. It's tasty and played in all the right spots. Check out his brilliant work on "I Remember Clifford" and "All Too Soon."
As I noted earlier, I called on lap steel ace Rob Ickes for 7 of the tracks. Rob is mostly known for his outstanding dobro work, but wait till you hear him on 6 string lap steel.
On a personal note, I would just like to thank all of you for your continued support. It allows independent artists like myself to do what we do best...make music.
You can also get the "Backing Tracks" from this CD so you can play along. It's the same music minus PT's harmonica. Order both and save.
Looking to download single songs or the entire project as mp3's?
“A Madness to the Method,” the latest offering in the musical journey of harmonica innovator PT Gazell, delights and captivates in all its genre-busting glory. The CD includes songs by Louis Jordan, Lennon and McCartney, Benny Goodman, Rogers and Hart… Gazell makes this widely diverse collection of songs feel as though they’ve been together forever. “A Madness to the Method” takes the listener on a cozy and magnificent journey all around the musical universe. PT’s command of his instrument is in full effect here and this recording offers listeners an extraordinary opportunity to experience someone with a matchless one-of-a-kind vision, style and technique. This is a recording that you will return to time and again as each experience with it reveals another layer of the delightful genius of PT Gazell.