Ours

by The McKarrtet

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    Here is your official hard copy of The McKarrtet's debut record "Ours." It comes in a sleek cardboard jacket with graphic designing by Annya Uslontseva and great photos of the band taken by Kaia D'Albora.

    Includes unlimited streaming of Ours via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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about

Throughout our first year of collaboration, the members of the McKarrtet and I have played and performed a huge variety of music. Although our first musical love is jazz, we’ve never hesitated to bring David Bowie, Dave Matthews, Radiohead, and Aphex Twin covers into our repertoire. When it came time to record our first record, however, we all immediately agreed to put aside the covers and commit to doing all original music: music that was ours. “Ours” is a central concept of the McKarrtet. We are all bandleaders, and we all contribute to the music equally. The McKarrtet is a band, not a group where one player is the centerpiece and the sidemen are expendable. After two nights of intense, focused recording at the Seattle Drum School, we emerged with six original tracks that represent both us as individuals and the unique voice the band has developed.

Inspire, by Schuyler Karr, blends rhythmic elements of hip-hop with an ensemble sound rooted in jazz. Schuyler’s work as a prominent Seattle hip-hop producer brought a strong beat and alluring rhythmic feel to his composition. The piece features three tempo changes and six distinct sections, yet it never loses its compositional train of thought. “Inspire” quickly became one of our trademark songs. Any one who has seen us perform has most likely heard the piece close a set. Schuyler’s work as a hip-hop producer has also recently been featured on Brothers From Another’s Two Week Vacation EP.

Coffee Splat, also by Schuyler Karr, is one of our album’s more conventional jazz tunes. You will hear solos from all 5 members, and as Art Blakey would say, “On this particular song we feature… no one in particular.” Schuyler told us he had trouble thinking of a title for this piece. Characteristically, he was drinking coffee while trying to think of a name, and he accidentally spilled on the manuscript paper. The resulting stains gave him a name for his composition.

Lila’s Song is Schuyler’s final composition on this record. The piece shows influence from Avishai Cohen (the bassist) and the Grammy-nominated contemporary jazz pianist Robert Glasper. “Lila’s Song” uses complex musical tools for the sake of expression and musicality rather than for the sake of intellect and complexity. A co-composer credit goes to Schuyler’s sister Lila Forde, who came up with the opening chords to the track.

It’s Always Sunny Above The Clouds, my lone original, started as a Debussy prelude. The opening chords are from his piece “Calme.” While writing the piece, I was listening to Ambrose Akinmusire’s record When The Heart Emerges Glistening, an influence I can definitely hear in the final product. The title came to me above the clouds on an airplane, and it’s also recognition of the hilarious television show It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.

Acceptance, by Cameron Vohr, was written during the stressful, rewarding, and inevitably debilitating college application months. Much like the process of applying to and waiting to hear back from a school, the composition’s harmony twists and turns through unexpected and sometimes challenging places. Cameron wrote this tune in recognition of his hero Wayne Shorter’s earlier compositions for the Blue Note label. The piece features Blue Note’s classic unison tenor saxophone trumpet sound on the head and a catchy, angular melody.

Ours, by Cameron Vohr, is a soulful expression of humanity’s most guttural emotions. The composition explores the beautiful and terrible things that can happen between people, and the uniqueness of each relationship formed. It was inspired by Gary Fukushima’s composition “The Ruse of the Muse” on Mark Taylor’s album Spectre.

Our six original tracks form a jazz record with less than traditional jazz influences, but as Schuyler once said, “We’re playing music more so than we’re playing jazz.” Duke Ellington famously explained that there are really only two kinds of music. We hope you consider Ours the good kind.

-Chris McCarthy

credits

released November 28, 2011

Recorded at the Seattle Drum School on July 22nd and 23rd, 2011. Mixed and recorded by Nemanja Bujisic. Mastered by John McCaig at panicStudios. Graphic Design by Annya Uslontseva.

Band Members:
Chris McCarthy-Piano
Schuyler Karr-Upright Bass
Thomas Campbell-Drums
Cameron Vohr-Tenor Saxophone
Nolan Tsang-Trumpet

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about

The McKarrtet Seattle, Washington

The McKarrtet is an up and coming Seattle jazz group consisting of several of the top high school jazz musicians around. With a vast repetoire and agglomeration of influences, the group is always seeking to carve out a unique identity for itself in the thriving Seattle jazz scene. Their debut album "Ours" is coming soon! ... more

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