TOO TIGHT! Alex Nauman Organ Trio + 3 Album (Vinyl) 12/22/12 release at the Garage and more!
Vinyl, Wax, Platter, Album, Record: Black, flat, and plastic objects that whisper a remembrance of a distant sound in music that many generations of listeners have forgotten. In the shuffle of eight tracks, tapes, compact discs, and the age of digital downloads, it seems like song products are slowly shrinking into oblivion. But not for Alex Nauman and Matt Smiley, both avid jazz musicians, enthusiasts, and vinyl collectors; together they have dreamed an idea and followed through with it from 500 miles apart: writing and putting out a real “jazz” record.
Alex resides in Billings, MT and Matt in Fort Collins, CO., the two of them becoming close friends after playing in the big band at the University of Northern Colorado during Alex’s final year of jazz guitar studies. Since Alex and Matt moved to their current locations, they have stayed in contact over the years, traveling to each others towns to play, and always talking about recording a full length LP (long play album) together. After Alex’s last visit to Fort Collins, Matt and he decided it was time. When Alex brought the idea to his band everyone was instantly in. To get the feel for the Album he says, “we also needed percussion and a Tenor Saxophone, so I acquired Gy Moody (Billings) and Ben Johns (Bozeman)”.
If you are not familiar with the Alex Nauman Organ Trio, or “ANT”, then you are in for a surprise. “ANT” thrives on improvisation and playing in the moment. They can go from blues to avant-garde in an instant, and every show is exciting and different. The core of the Trio will always be the same: long time jazz drummer Brad “Papa Shark” Edwards, multi-instrumentalist Erik Olson on B3 Organ, and Alex Nauman playing guitar–all of them over flowing with talent and inspiration, with Alex and Erik writing almost every tune for albums and performances. Since the conception of the “ANT” they have never compromised in exploring music that moves them. Alex humbly states that “it wasn’t about the audience, but we started growing followers out of that place–we play from the heart and I think that connects people.” Their sound is always changing and you can hear and see the development over the years–even since their appearance last year on Montana PBS’s “11th and Grant”, their music has evolved drastically. “We are still changing…we have flipped 180 degrees from our last album Loud Lullabies,” Alex says.
Alex is very excited about this project and his love for records, and although the process to create a record is a little more work and more expensive, he knows the benefits to the listener’s experience are well worth it: “All of the members of this project have a record collection…It’s an experience–you have to sit and listen–every album after this for us will be on vinyl,” Alex said.
Too Damn Tight! is an idea inspired by classic ’60′s blues and boogaloo records from some of Alex’s library: Early George Benson, Wes Montgomery’s “Verve Era,” and even some of Ray Charles’ gospel. “We wanted that old school vibe,” Alex says, “music with a deep pocket.” [A "deep pocket" is a term used in music describing a tight groove that produces instant head bobbing, finger snapping, or hand tapping the side of your leg in rhythm to the music.]
Too Damn Tight! and will be released at the Yellowstone Valley Brewing Co. Saturday, December 22nd, and the doors open at 4 o’clock in the evening. The album was funded from a kickstarter project that proved to be very successful for the group. As their goal was quickly met, the group decided to upgrade and put all the earnings towards making Too Damn Tight the best it could be–getting everything done professionally. Alex was deeply touched that so many people from the community helped make this dream happen. “I am very blessed that so many people supported us, it was a real community thing, not just at home, but from all over.” From fans, to Billings’ design artist A.J. Ostlund; Engineer Monty Nichols from North West College in Powell, Wyoming, and NWC for the use of their recording facilities; masters by Turtletone Studios in New York City, New York; and the 180 gram virgin vinyl pressed by United in Nashville, Tennessee. “All these people…from all over!” he says, elated at the scope of support they received to make this album possible.
If you are going to spin this record or play your digital downloads, here are a couple of tracks Alex recommends from Too Damn Tight: “Papa Shark” (Nauman), “Last Call at the Bow” (Olsen), and “Gospel #1″ (Nauman/co-credit to Stephen Brown). “We had to cut tunes, there wasn’t enough time on the album.” Alex says not to worry, you can get the extra material with the digital download.
You can purchase a digital copy of Too Damn Tight! and the Alex Nauman Organ Trio’s first album Loud Lullabies and other goodies at www.alexnaumanmusic.com, iTunes, and CD Baby. Physical copies will be available from CD Baby.com, Ernie November, Discontent Billings, and Cactus Records in Montana. In Fort Collins you can find the album at A Bizarre Bizaar.
There will be a second release show in Bozeman at 5:00 PM at Cactus Records and 9:00 at the Zebra Lounge.
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