Bob Dee's Cosmosis | Help Yourself

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Rock: Funk Rock Urban/R&B: Funk Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Help Yourself

by Bob Dee's Cosmosis

From guitarist, composer, producer of critically acclaimed Head to Soul and Double Talk CDs comes a new album. "The music tugs the listener in a direction they may not have experienced before. Something inexplicably familiar, yet totally unknown, fresh."
Genre: Rock: Funk Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Help Yourself
4:35 $0.99
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2. Spring of My Discontent
5:00 $0.99
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3. Room to Grow
4:43 $0.99
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4. Study in Open Strings
4:48 $0.99
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5. Leaping off Legends
11:03 $0.99
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6. Falling Up (feat. A Thousand Tiny Fingers)
4:39 $0.99
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7. My Surreal Amour
8:45 $0.99
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8. The Temple Dismount (feat. A Thousand Tiny Fingers)
6:10 $0.99
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9. Big Black Shiny Bug Undisturbed
6:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
All the recordings on this record were done at various times in the last 10 years except for Room to Grow, recorded in 1996. I had plans for a much earlier release. I had a lot of plans for a lot of things for that matter. However as T-Bone Walker sang, “fate’s an awful thing.” It’s outstanding how little control we really have over life. But I’ve had to say to myself, just go with it and don’t let difficulties eat you up. So regardless of best laid plans, time has passed. Looking at the now I have to say I am very happy about the final product that is Help Yourself. Following are some details about these recordings and the wonderful talent that I have been blessed to work with during each session:
After the release of From Head to Soul, I supported that record with my live group, Bob Dee’s Cosmosis. In 2001 I would meet a new bassist that was recommended to me. His name was Bob Bowen. He was a good fit because he loved to experiment musically and liked to bend outside of the parameters of straight ahead jazz. I interrupt here to mention that it has happened to me time and time again that certain people would be put into my life that would impact my life in other ways, and in this case the personal side of my life. And one major part of my personal life has been my daughter, Nika. She was born with a novel gene mutation on the SNAP 25 gene that has left her challenged in so many ways. So why does one person get put into another’s life that would impact them so greatly? It’s because, in my opinion, there is a bigger purpose—a spiritual connection, a cosmic union. Bob Bowen and I would cross paths for a deeper purpose than just that of music. Bob also having a child with a disability was someone that could relate to my situation. There were times I would be stressed to the 10th degree, trying not to come apart at the seams as I would continue dealing with my child’s suffering, staying on top of my musicianship, trying to develop it and working like hell just to make ends meet. I could talk to Bob about this stuff and I didn’t get a blank stare. Bob was a beautiful person and the fact that I got to perform and record with him was just icing on the cake for me. And it’s a gift for you, too, that you get to hear his great bass playing on this record. Bob Bowen died tragically after being hit on his bike while riding in Manhattan. Bob and I both love the poetry of Rumi and in one of the very last conversations I had with Bob he quoted one of my favorite Rumi poems, “The Guest House.” It was that connection that was so special. Bob was not just the bass player in Cosmosis, or a session player on my record—he was my friend and a gift to me.
The recordings of “My Surreal Amour” and “Leaping Off Legends,” both feature Bob Bowen and were recorded in 2006 at John Kilgore Sound & Recording in mid-town Manhattan. Along with Bob and myself was drummer, Greg Joseph, another talented and creative New York City musician. These compositions were me bending toward the outside while still trying to keep the listener’s attention with inside moments and chord progressions. There’s a lot of freedom, but everything was written, arranged and conducted. This was still from a period where I was trying to maintain jazz and classical-influenced harmonic concepts with cued free sections.
“Falling Up” and “The Temple disMount,” are two free composed pieces featuring the group A Thousand Tiny Fingers. This session was done with long-time friend and awesome talent Mike Cullens (“Mad Mike”), on drums and Fred Jorio on electric bass in 2014. Both these cuts are edited from longer pieces, but feature live performance with no overdubs. These are orphaned pieces that I am pleased to give a home to. A Thousand Tiny Fingers is a totally improvisatory group originally started by Mad Mike and Brook Thaler that I joined in 1990. Mike had invited me to come over to Brooks to hang, party and play. We hit it off immediately, thus starting a long musical relationship that has lead to many creative recordings. We lost Brook in 2009 and knew his talent was one that could never be replaced. But Mad Mike and myself have kept playing and recording, keeping the Fingers moving. I’m glad I have the chance here to contribute to the long list of songs in the catalogue of A Thousand Tiny Fingers.
“Spring of My Discontent” was recorded in 2017 at Mad Hands. This was a quick session. I brought a chart in and we laid the tracks down in a couple of hours. This is my first original vocal composition that I’ve recorded. I’m clearly not the greatest singer, but I’ve been dying to record a vocal tune for years.
The title track, “Help Yourself,” was written in 2002. This song says a lot about how I feel about where I’ve come from in my life to where I’ve arrived and that everything we really need is already in front of us. The line, “there are love dogs no one knows the names of,” is from a Rumi poem. The point being, you can’t live without crying out at some point—and when you do, then all of heaven and earth comes to your side. Help Yourself was recorded in 2017 by my friend and gifted musical artist John Isley.
“Big Black Shiny Bug unDisturbed,” is an interesting piece. I did this in my home studio in 2011. There are eight separate guitar parts along with hand percussion. I’m not 100% sure how I did this. I know each guitar part was a complex of 2 tones, harmonics and overtones and there were six sets of these. I used an extremely high gain setting on my Chandler overdrive, but kept the overall volume very low. As I pushed the volume up and drove the pedal, the sound became more and more saturated but not really much louder. Then the tracks were all very specifically panned in the stereo field in a way that as it becomes more and more saturated it undulates in a bizarre way. It’s like hordes of bugs getting louder and louder and flowing through the forest floor like a stream. On top of that is the Big Black Shiny Bug in stereo (2 parts) that is sauntering through the forest. The other bugs get louder as he walks through out of sheer excitement. Then, as he moves on they calm down again. The strings were neither picked nor plucked—they’re just touched with the side of a plectrum. This was an instant inspiration—a cold, damp day with nothing better to do.
“Study in Open Strings,” was written on manuscript in 2007. I revised the chart a number of times. The difficulty of the piece was keeping open strings wherever possible ringing without extraneous notes being struck or other notes needed dropping out accidentally. I must have done 20 takes!
“Room To Grow,” is probably one of my most favorite pieces that I’ve composed. It’s not like it is the most complex or deep tune, either. But there’s just something about the song that I like. Room To Grow was recorded in 1995. It was left off my first record, because at the time I felt the production value wasn’t good enough—that was a mistake! So, I am giving it a home here. It’s clearly a refuge of the last century from the fusion era.
I hope you enjoy this collection. I’m sure there will be some piece that will catch your spirit and hopefully set it on fire.
Peace and love,
Bob Dee

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