Unlike my live, improvisational work, these pieces were each developed over days, weeks or months. Most are solo; a few benefit from guest artists.
(2017) Tim Wolf: dousn’ gouni, likembe, sanza, keyboards, beats; Krush Money: vocals, beats.
Krush Money (Myron Moye) and I met In 1983 when I co-produced a breaking and popping dance contest in Hartford, Connecticut, where he and his crew, The Master Poppers, took first place (he became a state champion in 1984). For a few years I helped manage and book him and a group of all-star b-boys. In the following years, he turned from dancing to rapping, and after hooking up with the extraordinary DJ Kutmaster B-stro (Kevin Bell), formed the Busy Boys.
Krush Money and B-stro asked me to engineer and help produce some of the Busy Boys’ first studio sessions, many of which were released on the Bee-Pee and B-Boy record labels, including the classic (now old-school) tracks “Stop Jockin Me” and “Funky Fresh Christmas.”
Over 30 years later we joined forces again—this time with Krush Money enhancing my beats and instrumentals with his rhymes—and AfriJazzHop happened as if we had been working together for decades. Kutmaster B-stro, who died tragically fighting a fire in 2014, is honored on the track with samples of his scratching from our early work together.
(2017) keyboards, sanza, likembe, dousn’; gouni, samples
This is a reflection on my college years at Cal Arts when I had the privilege of playing tamboura (the stringed instrument that provides a constant drone in Indian classical music) at numerous concerts and informal recitals accompanying my friend and teacher, Amiya Dasgupta. It is also a reflection and more robust development of the early multi-track recordings I did at that time with African thumb pianos (likembe, sanza, mbira).
In this piece, the tambouras are digital and emulate Brian Eno's DX-7 patches from the 1980s. In addition to the sanza and likembe, the second movement repeats the approach of the first with multiple dousn’ gouni parts. The percussion at the end is both digital and analog, the later including Indian pakhawaj as well as Greek and Turkish hand drum loops. The pakhawaj (a double-headed South Indian drum) is in honor of Pandit Taranath Rao, a master of that instrument and the tabla, and someone I also had the great pleasure of sitting behind while plucking the strings of the tamboura.
This piece is available for download on Bandcamp.
(2017) Acoustic and processed dousn’ gouni (6-string Malian hunters harp)
The Tibetan word gangshar could be translated as “whatever arises” (in the context of one’s mind).
(2012) Tim Wolf: drilbu (Tibetan bell), keyboards, caxixi, percussion; An old friend: electric bass
Art Jarvinen (1956-2010) was a close friend and musical collaborator when we were both students at Cal Arts. In addition to a lot of hanging out, we had an improvisational trio (The Caucasians) and did some recording and performing as “The Folk Hunters” (an experimental folk music duo).
Over the years, Art and I drifted solidly out of contact. When I learned of his death in 2010 it was a sudden shock that reverberated with great sadness and regret. This piece is dedicated with fondness to Art, a creative force I was fortunate to work, laugh, eat, drink coffee and create with.
This composition started before I learned of Art’s passing, inspired by encountering Igbo Ogene music of Nigeria. After hearing the news, the piece developed over several months as a reflection on Art, our work together, death and transition, repetition and variation. I am grateful for a friend, who also knew Art at Cal Arts, for adding the bass parts and providing me feedback on the piece.
This three-part piece is available for download on Bandcamp.
The graphic is a closeup of Art from a stained, woven poster I made for a performance by The Antenna Repairmen, a trio he was a member of.