Ari was already going to be in NY for the Woodstock session with musical masters Billy Martin, and John Medeski, and to connect with his friends and teachers from university and the years he spent in the city.
The location is The Bunker Studio, a studio that was founded by Aaron Nevezie and Jon Davis, college mates of Ari’s. The line up really represents all the things Ari is passionate about with the music. Eden Ladin, and Jazz artist from Israel that is making really unique music on his own, and we’ll embedded in the scene at Small’s and around town. Andy Hess a bassist who has played for Gov’t Mule, Black Crows, John Scofield, and more! and Drummer John Kimock a beloved drummer in many circles, John has been releasing his own music, and has been supporting Mike Gordon, Steve Kimock, Otiel and friends, and more for years.
Some thoughts from a phone call with Ari below.
“I met Eden Ladin at The Village Vangaurd the first day I landed in the city. I was hanging out with one of the teachers at The Music Factory Frank Vitolo. Frank got the last ticket to see Kurt Rosenwikel at the Vangaurd. After the show it was a hang, cause the band was done with a 5 night run. I was hanging with Alex Claffy, and Kurt Rosenwinkel till about 4am after they finished their set. Alex and Kurt had me laughing till the late hours, after wards I ended up taking Kurt to his hotel (in the rental car) and meeting Alex at a place near 55 Bar. I told Alex I wanted to record with Keyon (Harold), since he knew him as well I knew I’d want to work with this guy… at least try… Aaron Barnes - owner of the 1905 bumped into me as I was talking to Mark Turner. It was a Sunday but it felt like a weekend any where else.
Eden was heading to Portland to play but Alex and I where trying to set up a jazz session. It’s just so busy here so finding a open studio for under 1k a day is almost undoable.
Two months before heading out to NY, I spoke to John Kimock about making some music. At the time he was very open to meeting up and trying some things out. I absolutely love his groove and feel. It’s solid and has direction to it. I also dig his solo music. Being a big fan of the Dead, and all the things that music stands for, I wanted to put together a group that represented all the things I’m passionate about. It all fell into place and we really just went in with no plans, no song selections, just open minds and it was so cool.
Usually I like to do a lot of preproduction for a session, but one thing I learned a lot from John and Billy, it was was the true art and magic of group improv making mistakes taking risks and knowing what’s important. Billy actually encouraged me to find a perfect balance, lead a session in the moment. Know when to listen to the guys in the room and know when to go after what speaks to you.”
Of course there are special people and players EVERYWHERE. I feel a brotherhood with the players. I know this city as well as any other on the planet. It’s not easy. But there’s a seriousness about the music.
it isn’t just hobby, or you know, a dream, or a an old dream. It’s like serious business. Really special players.