Me with some info. That relates to this CD: I'm old enough to remember listening to music while ruminating on the album cover I held in my hands. It was at least 20 years before the invention of the CD.. I was typically curious about the musicians and processes involved in the recording.. This was partly resolved by looking at the album, especially when notes and pics were a part of the package. I was also curious to know about how it all came about.. On a cosmic level I feel the same way about how tomato seeds can grow from a tiny spec to become what they do. Some things remain a mystery but this CD will be less so if you read on. Yea, I'm a drummer... When I was a kid growing up in no mans land - pick any suburb, I knew I loved music and wanted to be involved in the process. I didn't have any clue on how it would be, but I had saved 50$ from a paper route.. With supportive parents who said they'd match what I had, I started asking around at the school yard.. Lord knows why I was looking for a bass guitar but it was soon forgotten when a kid named Ian Ianuzzi said he was getting a new drum set for Christmas. Perhaps I could buy his kit? It's funny but it seems there are 2 types of drummers - those who think drums 24/7 and those who are determined to be involved in the musical process who happen to be drummers.. I fall into the later category. A bit later on - 1972, I made enough money on a summer job at Delnor Foods in Burnaby to buy a Williams piano for 450$. I didn't know anything about piano other then I could make some sounds with it and feel the therapeutic energy from just plunking my fingers down on it. I never really took my music involvement seriously until I was out of high school and had a realization I knew next to nothing about music. Al Wiertz came into my life at a fortuitous time. Aside from sharing his drum and music knowledge, he turned me onto Tai Chi feeling it would be beneficial to my playing.. He was really the guy who turned me on to (dirty word to some) "jazz". I had grown up or "down" on rock music - Hendrix, The Who and countless prog rock type bands that really thrilled me back in the early 70's.. Here was Al playing records of the Coltrane Quartet, Miles Davis and Bill Evans Trio - which is all he ever played "btw" and after about 6 months of this indoctrination process, I realized jazz was cool after all.. I am a late bloomer to "jazz" but an early one to "improvisation".. Wayne Shorters album - Native Dancer and Horace Silvers 'Silver and Percussion' represented a great source of inspiration and offered direction somewhere in my mid 20's.. These recordings hit me deeply.. Whoever Milton Nascimento was, I was very curious to know more about his musical influences. Turns out he dug the Beatles and jazz and a lot of other interesting music too, but regardless I was captivated by hi and more generally Brasilian music. I loved the sounds and the richness of the harmonies, not the lyrical content! Some friends of mine still can't figure this out. I reason there are 2 kinds of listeners - those into words with music and the others - me and etc. - who can live with just the sounds. Pat Metheny was exploring this same concept around the same time it seemed... Kenny Wheeler, Chick Corea with Flora Purim and etc. Had experimented with voice as instrument as well. Wayne and Horace came into my life through the albums mentioned and opened me up to another world of which I'm eternally appreciative.. The 70's are sometimes thought to be a hard time for jazz, but as a kid growing up in the late 60's and 70's, I found it absolutely riveting for all the diversity of music at the time. I think we have this now too with the internet being a great equalizer of sorts. About this CD mostly: I enjoy the feeling of bringing a song to completion. Being able to hear it played with real musicians is even more or a thrill.. Bottom line - I dig this process of blending melodies, harmonies and rhythms even if folks are conditioned to think of me as a drummer.. The "slow down" title comes out of my life-long lesson which is to slow down! This ain't easy for an Aries, but the Venus in Taurus helps! This CD reflects a certain determination to capture a picture of the many feelings and moods that gave rise to these songs.. Often I'm searching for a feeling of "up-lifted-ness" which I get from some of my favorite music.. Hopefully listeners to this CD will get this too.. I've known Miles for a long time since back in Victoria in the 80's and he has a strong connection to Vancouver Island. I've wanted to do a recording with him and Scott White for at least the last 5 years, but it hasn't happened yet!.. Miles and I connected for this project while I was working on the Patsy Cline show in Vancouver fall 2010.. I, or we decided I could get the recording done in Vancouver with Miles and a few musicians he's close to who I really admire - Jennifer Scott and Rene Worst.. Miles and Rene's musical connections is a deep bond that goes back a long ways too.. of course Rene and Jennifer are like 2 musical peas in a pod who really know how to make great music together.. Anyways, about the recording - this was done in one day without any prior rehearsal at a place called Baker St. Studio in North Vancouver with a very good engineer, Dave Meszaros. If Jennifer, Rene and Miles weren't the consummate musicians they are, it couldn't have happened! Miles and I spent some time fine tuning my charts to put them in the clearest readable fashion possible .. We had a basic game plan going into the studio which included a rough order to the songs as well.. I had wanted to get a mix of sounds - piano, wurlitzer and the b3 organ and Miles was receptive to this.. I asked Rene to play whatever he felt like playing on these songs - acoustic or electric... You'll hear this on the CD... The order of the songs are just as they were recorded at the session - the first 5 before lunch and the last 5 after. Jennifer was encouraged to take liberties with the melodies if needed, but I can't say that she did! Miles added the b3 organ on "slow folks" and "three friends" at the end of the session all before 6pm. On a few tracks Miles plays with one hand on the wurly and the other on the piano which is something I found fascinating. You can hear this if you listen closely. The one song that is an exception to the simple process outlined here is the song "u for ee ya". This was done in 2 parts here in Nanaimo with the creative hands and mind of Rick Salt. Rick and I spent some time messing around blending the head with the open jam, when in fact they were recorded in 2 separate parts.. His involvement in this project has been invaluable. Making a CD is a pile of work. It involved many friends behind the scene critical to the process. My sister Jennifer McRae was extremely helpful and gave me lots of good feedback while helping to produce the booklet and overseeing aspects of the layout. Brian Rivas' artistic abilities with graphics on a computer are something he comes by naturally.. His talent for playing around with visual ideas on computers in addition to his photo taking skills are pronounced. The back picture is Beacon Hill Park waterfront in Victoria thrown into a reverse image. My long time friends, Alex North, Gary Thiele, Enrique Rivas and Dave Clark helped provide a level of support that was also critical for making this CD.. Thanks to Doug Dodd, Simon Garber came along at the tail end of this project to offer very valuable information and support as well.. Last but definitely not least is my long suffering wife Susan and her dear sister Joan who continue to both be very supportive.. Bell our dog on the cover is my constant companion on walks where many of these melodies are born and shared with you on this CD.. Thanks to everyone for making this dream come true.