Simòn Willson – Good Company (2023)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/96 kHz | Time – 48:59 minutes | 1010 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Fresh Sound New Talent
I have always thought of musicians as curators, a long lineage of performers and composers who carefully choose what to borrow from whom and how to re-imagine it. In my pursuit I have also noticed natural tendencies and aesthetic inclinations that I might not have chosen, but rather have chosen me. This dichotomy shapes the eclecticism of the album, as there are diverse influences and intentions that carve who I am as a musician. I choose but I am also chosen.
In my music you will find a reciprocal relationship between the canonical and the new, one in which the new defines itself against what is already established, while at the same time the established reconfigures itself in response to the new. Where do my influences end and I begin? How close or far away are the opposites? In a band setting, where do my bandmates end and I begin? I live for those blurry and rough barriers that are impossible to define. The relationship between new and old, looseness and tightness, intuition and intellect, maximalism and minimalism, freedom and structure, composition and improvisation, rawness and refinement, order and chaos dance together in this album. Sometimes I want to flicker a light and enter the void without necessarily having an exit strategy, while other times I want to have a plan and see it blossom from beginning to end.
For the last ten years I have been busy playing as a sideman to many projects, bringing other people’s compositions to life. Even though my work in those bands and records are true depictions of myself, the question of choosing what to say musically as a band leader and filtering out a big part of my personality was existential going into this project. This record is not about “I can do any gig” but about “this is my voice and these are my people”. Each composition is an experiment in the creation of its own world through the personal reimagination and juxtaposition of different elements from the musical and artistic idioms that I love. In my mind, this record is about Bach, Monk, and Buñuel hanging out at a beach in Brazil, Thom Yorke and Ornette drinking pisco at a dive bar in Santiago, Mingus and Roberto Bolaño sharing cigars in Havana, and Oscar Pettiford, Wilbur Ware, Thomas Morgan, and myself talking shop in NYC.
Isaac, Jonas and I played a gig in June 2022 where they showed me we could authentically combine our personalities and diverse histories to create a world bigger than ourselves. Not only did they help me express my own personality in the music, but they intensified it without losing themselves. I had thought about recording for a while, but the idea crystallized after that gig. They are my musical family, Good Company, if I have ever known it.
I also knew that there was an element missing, which is why I asked Jacob to be a part of the project. I have always loved his creativity, sensitivity, integrity, and his ability to challenge everything and everyone. I knew I needed him to break things down and question deep-seated beliefs that were holding me back.
Music has the rare quality of congealing different times and eras. This album is a tribute to the past, to masters I revere and cherish who have kept me in good company over the years. It is also a portrait of a certain present, a snapshot of several small decisions made in seconds by a living organism which is the quartet. Finally, it is a projection of an unknown future, the creation of a world that has not been inhabited yet. At this moment, this music is carving its path to you, the listener. I am grateful for your willingness to spin this record, and I invite you to live the music-making process through the ongoing reimagination and reinterpretation of this music. Hopefully we can be good company to you.
01. Simòn Willson – Being On Time (05:13)
02. Simòn Willson – No More X (04:29)
03. Simòn Willson – Snacks (05:31)
04. Simòn Willson – Calma (05:19)
05. Simòn Willson – Business Card (04:39)
06. Simòn Willson – Gracious (06:06)
07. Simòn Willson – Viridiana (03:18)
08. Simòn Willson – Not Necessary (05:32)
09. Simòn Willson – My Respects (02:52)
10. Simòn Willson – Loops (05:57)