La Paz en El Corazon
'. . . a sonic exploration into an ambient realm between Jazz and World music. Soprano sax, sitar, tabla, flute and synth weave in and out of Afro-Cuban rhythms and trance-inducing futuristic soundscapes.' QUARTER TONE (Cakewalk Music Software) ' . . . a calm, evocative album that manages to percolate with Latin flavors and penetrate with snappy solos . . . this departure from the straight-ahead jazz Rideout has honed for years is obviously a labor of love, which yields a harvest of subtle romance.' John Noyd, NITE SIGHTS & SOUNDS (Madison, Wisconsin) '. . . ambient world music jazz, by an ironic urbanite with a little peace in his heart . . . Rideout is the sort of musician . . . who pursues a dogged sense of musical truth, often heedless of musical politics . . . ' Kevin Lynch, THE CAPITAL TIMES (Madison, Wisconsin) 'Lovely stuff and very ambitious . . . ' Mike Baron, ISTHMUS (Madison, Wisconsin) 'While the album is a calm, intricate work which showcases . . . musical ability, it also manages an uplifting feel.' John Salnaitis, THE MIRROR (Greeley, Colorado) * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * PERSONNEL: Ray Rideout, soprano saxophone, flute, synthesizers/samplers John Rekevics, flute, alto flute Sebastian Winston, alto flute, bass flute Marc Fink, oboe Burnett Anderson, flugelhorn Vince Cooper, guitar Claudio Slon, drums All compositions by Ray Rideout * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Ray Rideout's CD, LA PAZ EN EL CORAZON ('Peace in the Heart'), represents a stylistic departure for the saxophonist/composer, who is best known for his mainstream jazz groups that have performed extensively in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin. 'This project gave me a chance to delve into some stylistic and orchestrational possibilities that were not possible in the context of a small jazz group,' explains Rideout. Rideout, who is best known for his performance on alto saxophone, plays only soprano saxophone on this recording, along with a bit of flute--and a host of other synthesized and sampled instruments, including fretless and acoustic bass; strings; trumpets and trombones; electric piano; vibraphone; sitar; sarod; tablas; Latin percussion; berimbau; voices; wine glasses; bottle flutes; 'mouth percussion'; toy train whistles; various synthesizer sounds; and bird, animal and ocean sound effects. 'I wanted to explore the possibilities of the new electro-acoustic music technology,' says Rideout. Observing this major stylistic departure may bring to mind the phrase 'reinventing oneself.' However, Rideout explains that, 'It's very trendy for people to talk about 'reinventing themselves,' but I prefer to describe the process as 'evolution' or 'diversification.' 'Reinventing oneself' implies to me a dichotomy of being, a schizophrenic state of affairs whereby one part of a person's psyche does major surgery on another part (often with disastrous consequences).' In any event, Rideout's electro-acoustic multimedia collaborations with Carlyle Osterberg and Greg Fish in the mid-70s (at the Wisconsin Conservatory, Century Hall, and the Cosmic Club in Milwaukee) put the lie to the idea that this is totally new territory for him. Other musicians joining Rideout on LA PAZ EN EL CORAZON include the late and great Brazilian drummer Claudio Slon, who recorded with Sergio Mendes, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Frank Sinatra and Dori Caymmi; San Diego flutists John Rekevics and Sebastian Winston; guitarist Vince Cooper; and oboist Marc Fink, who is on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin School of Music. Ray has had difficulty naming a genre or style that can adequately describe his recording project. 'Maybe I should leave that to the critics,' he quips. The music of LA PAZ EN EL CORAZON could be described as 'film music without the film.' There are jazz elements--but the music at times has a new age bent; added to the mixture are heavy doses of Latin jazz and some occasional East Indian flavor. After considerable agonizing (and with a little help from jazz reviewer Kevin Lynch) Ray finally decided the best description for the music is 'a mixture of jazz and ambient world music.' A few years back Ray was asked to create the music soundtrack for THE MAKING OF MONONA TERRACE: FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT'S LAST PUBLIC BUILDING, a film about the new community and convention center in Madison, Wisconsin, that was opened in 1997. Although most of the music was new music that Ray composed specifically for the film, he also used three tracks from LA PAZ EN EL CORAZON as part of the score. The composition titles from the album conjure up a variety of magical mystery tours into uncharted areas of the imagination. 'Two of the compositions--'Veracruz' and 'Mazatlan'--are named after cities I've never been to,' says Rideout. 'In the Dance of Life' takes us on a flight of fantasy with a definite East Indian influence, perhaps harking back to the year Ray spent in India as a child. And according to Ray, 'Children of the Light' was inspired by his readings about spiritual and out-of-body experiences, particularly a book by Melvin Morse, M.D., CLOSER TO THE LIGHT. Most of the recording was done at Seacoast Recording Studio in San Diego during the summer of 1993. The mix, along with the recording of a few additional tracks, was completed at Smart Studios in Madison, Wisconsin, in August of '94. Rideout's 'dream team' for mixing LA PAZ EN EL CORAZON included Ramie Espinoza (Firebird Recording) and Doug Erickson, a staff engineer at Smart. Rideout points out that the mixing task was difficult 'because of the complex and often dense orchestration, and because of my insistence that all instruments be heard clearly at all times. The music I create often includes an interplay between different instruments, a type of counterpoint that doesn't allow any instruments to be relegated to background roles in the music.' LA PAZ EN EL CORAZON was mastered at Bernie Grundman's studio in Hollywood in December of 1994. Ray explains that 'Bernie told me that the mix on my project compared favorably with most of the projects that came through his studio--a solid compliment from someone who has done mastering of major West Coast projects by artists ranging from Chick Corea to Michael Jackson.'