PERFORMANCE SCHEDULE I DEBUT ALBUM I VIDEOS I PHOTOS
the offering of curtis andrews
You can listen to my album here, click on a link to download it, or just contact me
for a physical copy.



Buy at Bandcamp as well!

or.....listen to the entire album here for free!!!


"engaging, uplifting and warmly human"
Exclaim! Magazine [ read full review ]

"a rich multi-cultural banquet"
The Wholenote [read full review ]

"Andrews delivers an eclectic, jazzy and rich international musical palette"
Percussive Notes [ read full review ]

Released December 16, 2008

01 VEDIC SQUARE DANCE
02 END GAME
03 MALABAR
04 GHENGIS KHANDA BLUES
05 TISRA MISRA
06 CAMEL RIDE
07 BHAIRAVI
08 SWINGSHIFT
09 KAJU FENNY
10 OLIVE RIDLEY'S LAMENT
11 ODE TO ODOMOS
12 SHADOW OF A CLOUD




"When you do what you love, the doors will open themselves to you."

This is what my mentor, the late and forever great Don Wherry once said to me over 10 years ago and every word is true.

Since surrendering to the power of music, I have had the privilege to meet, study and live with masters of the music of South India, Ghana and Zimbabwe. My heart has been warmed and my spirit lifted by the people I have met along the way. Through my experiences abroad and at home, I have met countless people who have had a profound impact on me. I am blessed. And it continues.

I hope that whoever reads these words and hears this music will find something to love... ...and do it.
Curtis



Drawing from my studies and travels in Asia, Africa and at home in North America, the offering of... is already gaining steady praise as some of the most original and refreshing music to come out of Newfoundland in a long, long time. Consisting of drumset, percussion, mridangam (South Indian classical drum), Ewe percussion (West African), electric bass, electric guitar, trumpet, alto/tenor sax, flute, vibraphone and Fender Rhodes, the pieces themselves range from the virtuosic and mind-bending to soothing and meditative. Listen with open ears, mind and heart and you will not be disappointed.



ABOUT THE MUSIC

01 Vedic Square Dance
(Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India…2008)

I was practicing mridangam and had some interesting phrases based around the number 9. At the same time I had been doing some research in to Vedic mathematics and specifically the Vedic square which is based on a 9x9 matrix. This formed the basis for the basic rhythmic form and overall form of the tune.

Harmonically it is influenced by the “Giant Steps” changes made popular by John Coltrane and his tune “Giant Steps”of the same name.

And of course, this tune can be quite danceable I think.

Curtis Andrews: drumset, congas, various shakers
Patrick Boyle: trumpet
Bill Brennan: Fender Rhodes
Chris Harnett: alto saxophone
Brad Jefford: electric guitar
Rob Power: shaker
Josh Ward: electric bass




02 End Game (St.John’s, NL, Canada…2003)
This is one of the first pieces I wrote with Carnatic music in mind. Again, the opening motif came to me while playing with some mridangam repertoire. Eventually I just developed it to have the A and B sections to have repetition with slightly different endings, somewhat of a game for the player. And the inclusion of the korvai at the end of the head sort of leaves one with a “catch me if you can” feeling.

Curtis Andrews: drumset, congas, cowbell, tambourine, Japanese singing bowl
Patrick Boyle: trumpet
Bill Brennan:electric piano, Hammond organ
Chris Harnett: alto saxophone
Brad Jefford: electric guitar
Rob Power: shaker
Josh Ward: electric bass

CHARTS
  • Alto
  • Bass
  • Trumpet
  • Guitar



  • 03 Malabar (Mangalore, Karnataka, India…2006)
    My first attempt at using the concept of raga as the basis for a tune. In this case it was Mayamalavagaula, (C, Db, E, F, G. Ab, B, C) one of the first ragas that a student is taught in Carnatic music. In my case, I was never taught it as such, but just used my own experience from listening over the years and studying other compositions. In terms of form, piece also develops much in the same way a typical “kriti” (popular Carnatic song form) would…. repetition of a theme with gradual development and complexity. And rhythmically it is based on some motifs that I was working on at the time.

    It named for the Malabar coast of India (south-west) which is where I was when I wrote it.

    Curtis Andrews: mrdangam, glockenspiel and cymbal
    Patrick Boyle: flugelhorn
    Bill Brennan: vibraphone
    Chris Harnett: flute
    Brad Jefford: electric guitar
    Josh Ward: electric bass




    04 Genghis Khanda Blues (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India…2006)
    Ahh the swagger. Imagine the impending doom that Genghis Khan and his many armies would bring upon your peaceful little village…seeing them ride slowly over the steppes. And the khan. with his confidence and bravado, slowly entering on horse back ahead of them all.

    That is the sort of image this groove conveys….heavy, majestic and a little chaotic at times.

    Written in a 5 beat cycle….things related to 5 in Carnatic music are named “khanda”.

    And of course, the khan will bring the blues in his wake.

    Curtis Andrews: drumset
    Patrick Boyle: trumpet
    Bill Brennan: Hammond organ
    Chris Harnett: alto saxophone
    Brad Jefford: electric guitar
    Rob Power: congas, gongs, tambourines and more
    Josh Ward: electric bass

    CHARTS
  • Bass
  • Guitar
  • Lead Sheet
  • Piano
  • Trumpet



  • 05 Tisra Misra (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India…2006)
    Again, inspired by mridangam play and some be-bop….”Carnatic Be-Bop” perhaps??? Not sure where that initial theme came from…initially it was supposed to be a “call and response” type be-bop tune (band..drums, band…drums).
    But it developed into a beast of its own. The B section was based on some larger forms of playing 7 that my master had taught me earlier. And the korvai at the end sort of created itself.
    The mini-korvai between solos is something else I have been trying to incorporate into my writing….small bits of composition in between the improvising to create some balance, cohesion and momentum.
    The title is based on the Carnatic concepts that denote anything in 3 (tisra), in this case the underlying jazz triplet feel, and anything related to 7 (misra) which is the time signature of the whole tune.

    Curtis Andrews: drumset
    Patrick Boyle: trumpet
    Bill Brennan: Fender Rhodes
    Chris Harnett: alto saxophone
    Brad Jefford: electric guitar
    Josh Ward: electric bass



    CHARTS
  • Bass
  • Alto
  • Lead Sheet
  • Trumpet
  • Guitar
  • Piano



  • 06 Camel Ride (Toronto, ON/ St.John’s, NL, Canada…2000-06)
    This is an old piece that I had composed around 2000 but added to it recently to give what you hear today. It all started with that bass figure in 11…I never thought about time signature when writing it, just jamming on a keyboard one day and that came about. Some of the phrasing bears some influence of the Carnatic music I was just discovering. The long 3 (or 9) beat figure at the beginning and end of the tune is somewhat based on cadential forms in Indian rhythm.

    Overall it is kind of funky, kind of bumpy…kind of what I imagine a camel ride to be like. A friend had a dream where she was riding on a camel instead of a street car which is where the title originally came from.

    Curtis Andrews: drumset, congas, cowbell, shakers
    Patrick Boyle: trumpet
    Bill Brennan: Fender Rhodes
    Chris Harnett: alto saxphone
    Brad Jefford: electric guitar
    Josh Ward: electric bass



    CHARTS
  • Alto
  • Guitar
  • Ride Chart
  • Trumpet



  • 07 Bhairavi (St. John’s, NL, Canada…2008)
    Delving again into the world of raga, this time a humble attempt at using the old raga named Bhairavi as inspiration. A deep and complex raga, I can only assume a superficial knowledge of it and tried as best I could to stay true to its form.

    I wrote this piece especially for this album, as I wanted something that was more legato in feel and also used some different phrasing in a 7 beat cycle. Again, the main theme was discovered while practicing mridangam. I’m trying to straddle the line between monophony and polyphony with these types of compositions. I try not to introduce any foreign notes with the harmony and try as much as possible to serve the melody. But with this instrumentation it is hard not to have some counter-lines in there somewhere. Mostly, I use harmony (in the Western sense) as an ornament to melody.

    Curtis Andrews: mrdangam, ankle bells
    Bill Brennan: vibraphone
    Janis Dawson: violin
    Chris Harnett: tenor saxophone
    Brad Jefford: electric guitar
    Josh Ward: electric bass




    08 Swingshift (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India…2006)
    The title says it all. Swing that is shifted by an 8th note. Blame it on the kagan if you will.

    I love Ewe music, especially the slow 12/8 grooves. The shift of perspective that polyrhythmic music can create is one of the greatest pleasures one can derive from certain styles of African music. I also love the raga Nattai which has a slightly blues-like quality to it. In all honesty, this tune sort of wrote itself and came about quite quickly..except for the 2 bars which I slaved over for days until I finally made a decision on what I think worked.

    I guess this tune ties together the blues, Carnatic music and West African vibes.

    Curtis Andrews: drumset, axatse, gankogui
    Patrick Boyle: trumpet
    Bill Brennan: vibraphone
    Chris Harnett: tenor saxophone
    Brad Jefford: electric guitar
    Josh Ward: electric bass



    CHARTS
  • Bass
  • Guitar
  • Piano
  • Tenor
  • Trumpet



  • 09 Kaju Fenny (Panjim, Goa, India…2006)
    I’m quite pleased with this piece. It had never been played before we recorded it so I was not sure how it would sound. It is all based on phrases reducing from 7 to 1, each phrase repeated 3 times so you get 777,666,555,444,333,222,111 in a triplet grid. It all fits in 7 beat framework as well so it is quite logical, symmetrical and beautiful. The harmonic material is all diatonic and derived from the notes of the simple sing-song motif you hear at the beginning of the tune.

    The B section is simply a re-arrangement of 7 as in 444,333,555…. 444,333,777 and 444,333,999. Sounds mathematical (and it is) but is quite nice sounding I think…especially when swung.

    The C section is some sort of fanfare it seems that nearly got out of hand.

    Kaju Fenny itself is a type of distilled liquor made from cashews and is very popular in Goa which I where I had the inspiration for this piece.

    Curtis Andrews: drumset, shaker, glockenspiel
    Patrick Boyle: trumpet
    Bill Brennan: vibraphone
    Chris Harnett: alto saxophone
    Brad Jefford: electric guitar
    Josh Ward: electric bass



    CHARTS
  • Alto
  • Bass
  • Lead Sheet
  • Guitar
  • Keys
  • Trumpet



  • 10 Olive Ridley's Lament (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India…2006)
    Poor Olive Ridley…

    One day while in the state of Orissa, I happened upon a vast sandy beach that stretched far to the left and to the right. In the distance I noticed numerous larger than usual black spots. Upon inspection and venturing closer I found these to be the carcasses of the dead turtle known as the “Olive Ridley”. They dies by the hundreds due to being caught in fisherman’s nets or ingesting floating plastic in the ocean.

    This tune uses melodic material based on some Ewe funeral songs which have a lament-like quality to them. With a little bit of Carnatic phrasing and a whole lot of Ghanaian influence this tune takes on a life of its own. Originally I was going to play mridangam on it, but once in the studio I heard the sounds of the Ewe drums and used them to give it a heavy and groovy quality which I think works quite well.

    Curtis Andrews: axatse, gankogui, sogo, kidi, kagan
    Bill Brennan: vibraphone
    Terry Campbell: trumpet
    Chris Harnett: tenor saxophone
    Brad Jefford: electric guitar
    Josh Ward: electric guitar



    CHARTS
  • Bass
  • Guitar
  • Tenor
  • Trumpet
  • Vibes



  • 11 Ode To Odomos (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India…2006)
    This quick ditty almost didn’t make the album. We had been on a roll in the studio and at the end of the day when a couple of the band members had left, 4 of us remained and decided just to record a bunch of increasingly faster takes of this tune. In the end we had to include it. I wrote this with one thing in mind…the buzzing of a mosquito around my head. The B section is the musical equivalent of trying squash that annoying mosquito.

    “Odomos” is a brand name mosquito repellent that greatly enhanced my comfort level in Chennai.

    Curtis Andrews: drumset
    Chris Harnett: alto saxophone
    Brad Jefford: electric guitar
    Josh Ward: electric bass



    CHARTS
  • Lead Sheet



  • 12 Shadow of A Cloud (Chennai, Tamil Nadu India…2006)
    This is a very interesting piece and the main theme was wholly composed on an mbira (Zimbabwean thumb piano). When in India, I had no instrument to compose on melodically except my mbira. After some time playing with it, a small theme arose which I developed into this tune. The whole pulse shifting aspect in the middle is based on the Carnatic form of “Pallavi” singing where a simple theme is rendered in 3(sometimes 4) different speeds while the initial pulse stays the same. In this case, the quarter note pulse remains constant while the flute plays in 1/2 time and the vibraphone in 1/3 time. After 3 repetitions the flute plays in the normal speed while the vibes go double time. And the korvai at the end is a “standard” of sorts which I attached notes to.

    As for the title, I had images of moving clouds projecting moving shadows upon the ground….that is what the music made me think of anyhow.

    Curtis Andrews: mrdangam, chimes, glockenspiel
    Rozalind MacPhail: flute
    Rob Power: vibraphone



    CHARTS
  • Flute
  • Vibes



  • Here I will not write "thank yous" to every musician, organization and person I know. That is what this album is...a big "thank you" to who/whatever has influenced me directly or indirectly....whether it be a musician, a book, a sunrise, a teacher or a spirit.

    However, some special mentions are in order:

  • My parents for all they have done for me and the tremendous support they have shown and continue to show for my endeavours.

  • My guru Trichy Sankaran.... he is an ocean and I will be content if I can be just one drop of that. Humblest namaskaram to him for his encouragement, inspiration and blessings. Nandri.

  • Kwasi Dunyo....you brought me into the world of African music and I am forever grateful for what you have taught me and the people I have met through you. Akpe nawo kple Torgbui Apetorku.

  • The musicians involved in the making of this music. I chose you all for a reason.

    Thanks for making the music live and breathe.

  • Don Ellis....without you this recording would be nothing....your talent and ears never cease to amaze. Looking forward to the next time.

  • Anuradha Rao for all the love and support I could ask for. Mwah!

    This music is dedicated to the late Don Wherry and John Wyre.
    Don....for lighting the spark and making the connections. It is because of him that I am here today and doing what I do.
    John...for the lessons over quiet cups of buckwheat tea.

    Produced by Curtis Andrews

    Engineered and mixed by The Great Don Ellis at Fat Tracks in a somewhat relaxed manner between Aug-Nov 2008, St. John's, NL
    Mastered by Jeff Elliot
    All photos (including cover) by Justin Hall
    Design by Jud Haynes

    This sound recording was made possible through grants from MusicNL and the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council.

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