On Topic | Second Time Around

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CANADA - Ontario

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Jazz: Jazz Fusion Jazz: Contemporary Jazz Moods: Instrumental
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Second Time Around

by On Topic

On Topic is a collaborative electric jazz effort that will caress you, rock you, and everything in between.
Genre: Jazz: Jazz Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Let's Go
6:40 $0.99
2. I'm Travelling in Some Vehicle
7:11 $0.99
3. It's All Ahead
5:40 $0.99
4. To Be Honest
8:06 $0.99
5. Second Time Around
4:37 $0.99
6. Something You Said
7:52 $0.99
7. The New Trick
7:15 $0.99
8. Prayer
5:08 $0.99
9. Two Too Few
4:33 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
On Topic is:

Kim Ratcliffe – Guitar
Aubrey Dayle – Drums
Brad Cheeseman - Bass

Produced by Aubrey Dayle and On Topic
Co-Produced by Dale Russell

Recorded at Chalet Studios in Uxbridge Ontario Canada
Mixed and mastered at Trail mix studios in Oshawa Ontario Canada
Recording engineers: Josh Bowman Stéafan Hannigan, Dave Chester, Davi Aquino
Mix and mastering engineer: Dale Russell
Graphic design: Denise Wilkins of LifeartDesigh.ca
Cover art: Howard Gual

Special Thanks to: Stefanie Koenig (For letting us work on the this music in her basement), Julie Charron, the Cheeseman family, Dave Chester, Stéafan Hannigan, Dale Russell, Howard and Enid Dayle, Scott Atkins and Sonor Canada, Craig Snowdon and Dream Cymbals, Larry Davidson and D’Addario Canada, Ben Davies and Vic Firth, Dr. Jason Lee and Dr. Andrew Steele, Vladimir Kabelik and Willing mind productions, Andrew Mech

Aubrey's vibe-

It’s another amazing day, and another new and exciting project called ‘On Topic’ has come to life while on what is my life’s journey. I see life as though it has been an adventure that has been separated into two parts. The first part consists of childhood that flowed into early adulthood. My mode of transport on that journey was shiny, new, and powerful. Suddenly I was forced to slow down almost to a halt due to a significant challenge with my health. I was seriously ill for ten years, which culminated in a kidney transplant. This occurred thanks to the organ donation from, the love of my life, Julie. Now I’m back and travelling at full speed with ‘On Topic’ at the forefront of all the new activity.

One of the things that I had to do to keep going during my unhealthy period was to stay focussed. I had to focus on being able to maintain a family life so that my children felt as happy and secure as possible. I had to help my wife as much as my health would allow. I also had to stay focussed on improving my musical endeavours in that I worked as hard as I could on continuing to improve my drum set performance as well as my compositions. I had to stay ON TOPIC! I brought the name to the band thinking that this idea of staying on topic is something we all try to do in some capacity.

This new trio has revitalized the joy and optimism I felt when I was younger, and living in New York City. I feel like fantastic things are on the way for us. Kim Ratcliffe is an amazing person and outstanding guitarist. He has the unique ability to interpret a piece of music like he had been dreaming about it for years. We have been friends for a few years and he played in my group called ‘My id’. I’m thrilled to be working on an intimate project such a great musician at this time in my life. Brad Cheeseman is a fresh, exciting, and virtuosic bass player. I have worked with many of the best bass players in the music business and he easily fits into that club. I’m happy that he is into playing with Kim and I.

Brad's vibe-

A little over a year ago, I got an email from Aubrey asking if I’d like to get together and play some tunes with him and Kim. “Bring some music and we can see if something cool comes out! I’m sure it will,” the email said. To me, it was a pleasantly unexpected surprise; I had only played with Aubrey on one other occasion, subbing for Rich Brown on a My Id rehearsal nearly six months prior (which also marked only the second time that Kim and I had played together). It was an unexpected email for sure but the opportunity to play some more music with these guys was an exciting prospect so I checked my calendar, sorted out some details, and we got that ball rolling.

A few weeks later, we were all set up and finally ready to make some noise. Everyone had brought in a pretty varied collection of charts from some of our own projects (My Id, Rat4, Brad Cheeseman Group, etc.), charts that never quite fit the sound of those bands, as well as some newer pieces that were written specifically for that day (Kim in particular seems to always have charts where the ink has literally not had a chance to dry). Two of my pieces were written for this session: “Something You Said” and “Two Too Few.”

I kind of figured that this was a just-for-fun musical hang but, after a few hours of reading charts and hanging out, Aubrey came out with it (paraphrasing a bit): “Very nice, gents! So, let’s go make a record already and take this show on the road… let’s do this thing!” Things gained momentum pretty quickly and soon enough we a band name, a pretty significant amount of material and, in May 2015, we captured nine of those tunes at Chalet Studios in Claremont, ON for what would become our new record Second Time Around.
For something that started as “we can see if something cool comes out,” a lot has already happened, or is currently happening, or will be happening soon, and we hope you’ll continue to join us on the journey. Let’s go!

Kim's vibe-

Aubrey Dayle and Brad Cheeseman – these guys are both great listeners. They’ve got big ears, and they’re very open to whatever is happening right now. When we first started playing together, we had our collective radar out, and it feels like we’ve been able to build on that.

Both of them are very accomplished players of course. They’re into getting good sounds out of their instruments. I like Aubrey’s choice of cymbals, the sounds he gets on his kit, his touch. He plays with a big dynamic range. He can really simmer and not be overwhelming, which is important in a trio situation. He’s very supportive. But he can also dig in and roar. He’s been playing all these years with James Blood Ulmer, so his playing can be so dynamic. Look out! He’s very tuned into the guitar, and he lays down the deep groove while being aware of everything that’s going on. That’s a skill great drummers have, to hear the whole thing. I also first started playing a bit in his quintet when, unbeknownst to myself and probably the rest of us, he was very ill. And he was playing his ass off! But since he’s got the new improved kidney filled with love, it’s like look out, this guy is strong! And he’s played with guys like Blood Ulmer and Vernon Reid, so I always want to step up to the plate.

Brad is a virtuoso bass player. He’s got a highly developed sense of harmony. He’s a great writer. A groove player. As a soloist he pursues and explores ideas in a way that’s engaging and musical. He can lay down a pocket and then fill in cool grips on his 6 string bass. The way he plays affords me the opportunity to leave space. But he also kicks butt with serious musicianship chops. He’s got a wide skill set, and he’s put it all together in a way that’s quite unique, and I think it really comes out in this trio.

We’re getting a group sound happening. It’s exciting! And it’s a power trio. Sometimes we’re playing ‘jazz,’ sometimes it’s spacious and delicate, sometimes we’re rocking out, but it’s becoming apparent with a few gigs under our belt that we’re a power trio, sans vocals. I’ve spent quite a lot of time working on playing in the jazz tradition, and while I certainly have a long way to go, I’m finally feeling fairly at home in the world of playing standards. And I love doing that. But with some of the louder, rockier stuff we do in this band it’s a whole different kind of challenge with a trio. To flesh out the sometimes complex harmony. To be articulate, improvising, while dealing with a wider range of guitar sounds in a louder musical environment. I’m sometimes trying to create a somewhat larger sound palette than I would in a more straight ahead jazz situation. And I like to keep the gear fairly basic, so some of the approach involves maximizing the potential of what I have available, working on a concept and getting it happening with the hands. Shifting my thinking to approach things more orchestrally. Not always just soloing or comping. It’s a challenge. There’s a lot of variety in our material. On some of the tunes I’m trying to pare it down and play simply, some others I’m trying to be a rocker and bring it all to the table. Or to be the rhythm guy. There’s guitar players out there who do it very well, so I’m just trying to get better at it.

It’s a dream gig for me to play with these two and to be playing our own music. I’ve always been into a pretty big spectrum of music. Roots in many areas. I’ve had the good fortune to play with lots of great players in many different kinds of situations. Playing with these guys feels like the beginning of a great adventure. We’re having a great time and we want to keep getting better musically. Three crazy (sort of) kids in the sandbox. I’m really into it. It’s fun to share it with people.



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