There is a challenge to live recording that recalls a Japanese art form pianist Bill Evans wrote about in his liner notes to Kind of Blue: the artist must paint spontaneously with an uninterrupted, deliberate brush stroke where erasure or change is impossible; there are no “do-over’s.” This ‘being-in-the-moment’ is the same place where improvising musicians seek to dwell during performance.
About the selections: the title track Going Express is a nod to the NYC subway (love those express trains!), and a product of my restless nature to ‘just get there already.’ Hope Springs Eternally is a love song to the human heart’s resilience in times of suffering & difficulty; Bittersweet expresses the eternal ache of that same heart. Being a big fan of Meshell Ndegeocello, I include my arrangement of her ballad Bitter. The remaining songs probably warrant no further explanation than: I love putting a personal spin on familiar material.
In closing, I have to thank Francois Zalacain & Sunnyside Records; Seth Abramson, Zak Shelby-Szyszko, and everyone at the Jazz Standard (one of my favorite clubs!); Aaron Nevezie & John Davis (Bunker Studio); Jim Anderson, Tino Passante of Avatar Studios, Alan Silverman; Jason A. Cina, and Chris Drukker for their expertise & help in crafting my first live recording as leader. And of course, to the fabulous musicians - Eric, Seamus, Lonnie - and folks who joined us that evening: many thanks for the love, the enthusiasm, the energy...I look forward to re-living that moment-in-time with all of you!