Back in the Day (1980s)

A selection of some of the solo and ensemble work I was doing back in the day.

The Great Accumulation (Live)

(July 2, 1989) Live performance by Terrain, with Eternal Wind, in the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden, West Hartford, Connecticut. Personnel—Tim Wolf, sanza; Adam Rudolph, tabla; Eric Segal, electric bass; Sue Fisher, keyboard; Anon, keyboard; Ralph “Buzzy” Jones, bass clarinet; Charles Moore, trumpet; Fredrico Ramos, electric guitar.

I first composed and recorded this as a solo piece in 1981 (listen below). Since that time I’ve performed it with various ensembles, including this performance in an outdoor concert I produced to interpret studio projects done as a duo with a larger, live ensemble. I invited the Los Angeles-based ensemble Eternal Wind to share the concert with us. The two groups joined together to perform this piece.

Despite the limitations of the live mix, the music shines through. It deserves a full listen to hear the wonderfully understated solos by Charles Moore on trumpet, Freddy Ramos on electric guitar and Buzzy Jones on bass clarinet.

This concert was funded by grants from the Connecticut Commission on the Arts and the Evelyn Preston Memorial Concert Fund.

Mbira Berimbau

(1987) Tim Wolf: sanza, vocal; Tony Vacca: balafon, blekete drum, talking drum; Tim Moran: alto flute.

Over several years I had the privilege of performing and recording with Tony Vacca and Tim Moran. This is one of my pieces that we would perform. After playing on their LP, “City Spirits” with Don Cherry, they returned the favor and came into the studio to record this piece with me.

Fast Walking Sanza

(1986) Sanza (thumb piano) x 3

Mbira, sanza, likembe, whatever type of African thumb piano it is, this is representative of the style of music I was always drawn to make on these instruments: repetitive cyclic phases. Improvised for the most part. This piece was recorded with three, perhaps four, tracks on a wonderful sanza a friend picked up up for me at Benin African Imports in Los Angeles in the early eighties. Sometimes I would bolt it to a large, empty cooking oil can or prop it inside a large calabash as a resonator.

The Great Accumulation (original)

(1981) Sanza, likembe, Appalachian dulcimer, alto and tenor saxophone

My original four-track recording of this piece done at Cal Arts. A live version can be heard further up on this page.