Randy Gloss | ...the Ayes Have It, Vol. 1 (Self Portraits in Percussion)

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...the Ayes Have It, Vol. 1 (Self Portraits in Percussion)

by Randy Gloss

Percussionist, composer, teacher, and world traveler Randy Gloss has set out to communicate a highly personal, reflective and introspective musical statement with “The Ayes Have It" Vol. 1, a sonic and energetic recording, documenting Gloss's musical journey and the concept of What if.
Genre: World: Drumming
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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Warmer Waters
6:58 album only
clip
2. From McBean to Hasley Cyn, Pt. I
2:27 album only
clip
3. The Hang
5:54 album only
clip
4. From McBean to Hasley Cyn, Pt. II
3:19 album only
clip
5. Prelude to the Onion
10:20 album only
clip
6. Experiment on the Nature of Water #1
5:21 album only
clip
7. Suburban Desert Oasis
11:44 album only
clip
8. From McBean to Hasley Cyn, Pt. III
3:51 album only
clip
9. In a Cycle of Nine
13:02 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“…The Ayes Have It” Vol. I
Self-Portraits in Percussion
By Randy Gloss


Randy Gloss = Spirit Hands, Hands On, Openness, "What if . . ."

I was first amazed by Gloss's creative rhythm arts when he joined
Adam Rudolph's Go: Organic Orchestra in 2001. One of the original
hand drummer / percussionists in the group, I recall becoming an immediate
fan of his from the moment he started his pandeiro solo amidst Rudolph's
improvisational conducting of 30 other musicians. It was, (and is,) more
than virtuosic, it was soulful and funky. Turns out, 13 years later, I may
have had something to do with the concept for this beautiful record before
you. Tuned to one of my inspired, enthusiastic channels, during an Organic Orchestra
rehearsal break in 2014, I made a meaningful plea. Randy reminded me,
"It was you that told me I should, and must, record a solo record - and I did,
so you're partially responsible."

"Wow!" I thought, "I can't wait to hear it!" and now that it's here,
I've been listening to it a lot.

With a kindred direction to that of his mentor John Bergamo's 1986 solo percussion
LP "On The Edge" (CMP Records,) this Philadelphia born and raised multi-instrumentalist, composer, band leader, teacher, performer, world traveler, has set out to communicate a "very personal, reflective and introspective" impression, expression, message. " . . . The Ayes Have It" Vol. 1 is a colorful and energetic recording, documenting Gloss's musical journey over the past 20 years in California, and the concept of What if. He landed at CalArts in 1995 and attended Bergamo's “Multi-Focus Percussion” class. It was there that this bright, open minded drummer would find his deeper calling as an artist and expand as a sonic painter, visionary rhythmist. Bergamo would encourage him to explore What if: "What if I try it this way? What if I do it that way? What if I mix this with that? Be open to the possibilities. Try to find the beauty and value in everything." So as Gloss studied andpracticed diligently honing his skills on a wide array of percussion andchordal instruments, he would experiment and commune with infinity, rather than take a narrow, confined or restricted path.

Gloss weaves the lasting impressions of his musical influences into a mystical, rhythmic flow, like a quilt of the living sonic colors that touched his heart and ears. Everything is in there: from the 50s and 60s American Oldies, Soul, R&B, Jazz, and Folk that his stepfather actively collected, to the Rock, Funk and Electronic recordings of the 70s and 80s that were popular at the time, to the array of sounds that his dance teacher, choreographer Mother would play as she worked and trained, to the
spectrum of Classical and Latin records that he’d hear with his Grandparents, and the wisdom of the master teachers from around the world he was studying with. His perspective is vast as he is interested in and ever investigating the potentials of sound, instrument, and inspiration. He's applying his "thoughts, skill, knowledge and experience, transmitting as vibrations through the vessels" he makes, finds, collects and is given. I'm amazed by this solo debut, that Gloss produced, recorded and mixed himself, in his own studio with his own gear and mics! It's diverse and dream-full and a perfect way to blast off on a series of releases like this! (Hint, hint.)

As I am a guest here, and have given you a brief introduction, now I welcome
you to read the words of the man himself, to get a more profound sense of
how he sees and hears The Ayes. Enjoy!

Carlos Niño
West Hills, California
April, 2015



Warmer Waters
An improvisation utilizing a small assortment of Chinese and Korean gongs, a Chinese cymbal, and a tub of water. This piece serves as introduction, invocation, even an alap or taqsim if you will, and symbolizes for me on a personal level how one ending can be a new beginning. For this piece there are two simultaneous improvised tracks (one playing a rack of gongs, and the other playing with some of the gongs and tub of water), both were the first and only takes with no edits.

From McBean to Hasley Cyn
A composed solo in three movements for pandeiro set to a cycle of five beats. This piece
was conceived and performed using the Remo Choro Pandeiro, which has become my pandeiro of choice. McBean to Hasley Cyn is the distance (quite literally only a handful of miles) from CalArts where I teach, to the Remo factory by way of the 5 freeway.

The Hang
A long time ago someone had lent me a Hang. So accessible and playable, and so rich in sound and color, it’s hard not to fall in love with these instruments. I recorded this lighthearted solo some time ago, before I had to give it back to it’s rightful owner. This improvised composition is in an ABA form. For the A sections I sat with the Hang in my lap playing only the top of the instrument (playing both the “notes” and the “shell” of the instrument). However, for the B section I played both the top and bottom of the instrument (creating a melody on one side, over an “udu-like” ostinato groove on the other). I then overdubbed caxixi (shakers) to accentuate the melody, form and groove.

Prelude to the Onion
Originally written as an introduction to a larger composition, Peeling The Onion, it was
premiered at the CalArts World Music Festival in 2008 by Hands On’Semble, with Swapan Chaudhuri and Houman Pourmehdi. This piece was written specifically for my collection of Paiste Gongs with melodic and rhythmic percussion accompaniment and solos. The rhythmic cycle is set to thirty-three beats comprised of three cycles of eleven. The melodic content is based on a North Indian lehara or nagma in Raag Malkauns as well as a slight nod to John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme. This piece differs from all the others on this recording, as it was conceived as an ensemble piece, as opposed to being primarily solo based. Thusly, it is the only composition on the album that relies on overdubbing to any real extent.

Experiment on the Nature of Water #1
A live improvisation on electronic drumset. No overdubs, no edits. I simply programmed the sounds for each pad to create my drumset palette, cleared my mind, then hit record. Like Warmer Waters, and to much the same extent The Hang, these pieces are live improvisations with an emphasis on “flow” with little to no preconceived ideas,
and the result usually happening on the first take. For this piece the only preconceived ideas were the palette of sounds, and the intention of this being the first and only take.

Suburban Desert Oasis (dedicated to John Bergamo)
A composed solo for frame drum in three movements, with the drum being held in a different position (freehand style, lap style, and tar position respectively) for each movement, and is set to a cycle of seven beats.
This piece is dedicated to my mentor, teacher, friend, and bandmate John Bergamo
who gave so much so freely, without him I’d be nothing and nowhere as a musician. I am eternally grateful. For this recording I played an 18” Cooperman tar.

In a Cycle of Nine
It has been one of the great blessings in my life to be a long-time student of the great tabla maestro Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. While Swapanda has been overwhelmingly generous with his time, information, guidance and support throughout the years, tabla is such a vast subject that it is almost too much for one lifetime. So while I have received extensive talim over the years, there are still so many things that I simply have yet to learn. Therefore as a recurring exercise in my practice, I try working on certain talas that I encounter but haven’t formally studied and see what results. Trying to utilize the grammar, structures and forms, rules and guidelines learned from my teacher, I attempt this in both a traditional sense as well as in my own way. This solo is a “snapshot” of this practice...in a cycle of nine.

Randy Gloss
March, 2015

ALL music composed, performed, and recorded by Randy Gloss (ASCAP)
©RANDYGLOSSMUSIC (ASCAP) 2015
Produced by Randy Gloss
Mixed by John Baffa at T.V. Tray Studios, Ventura CA
Mastered by Brian Bullard at Universal Studios, Los Angeles CA
Artwork and Design by Eron Rauch
Orenda Records (www.orendarecords.com)
www.randygloss.com

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Reviews


to write a review

Modern Drummer

A ride through rhythm, texture, and mood
Essentially a solo percussion record with few overdubs, Randy Gloss’s debut works as a study piece for the different instruments he uses as well as a soothing collection of music to relax to. His technical skill with a frame drum is evident on “Suburban Desert Oasis”, on which he works the seven beat pattern with lyricism and control. On the multipart “From McBean to Hasley Cyn”, Gloss employs a pandeiro (Afro-Brazilian tambourine) to great effect, mimicking the kick drum and backbeat and using the jingles to fill in the space orchestrally. There are improvisations for electronic drumkit (“Experiment of Nature of Water #1”), hypnotic gong pieces (“Warmer Waters”), and an extended tabla performance (“In a Cycle of Nine”), so you get to experience diverse styles and Gloss’s accomplished execution. And if the one-man percussion vibe isn’t your thing, you can simply chill to this on a Sunday morning." - Ilya Stemkovsky, Modern Drummer
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LA Weekly

"The Ayes Have It, Vol. 1. ‘Aye’ might as well have been spelled ‘I’
"The Ayes Have It, Vol. 1. ‘Aye’ might as well have been spelled ‘I’, as Gloss has done it all himself, producing, recording, mixing, and playing a myriad of rhythmic and melodic percussive instruments. Gloss is a true master of almost anything that can be hand-struck, which he so eloquently demonstrates with sounds and textures that blend together in a delicious confectionary for the ear." - L.A. WEEKLY
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Modern Drummer

"A ride through rhythm, texture, and mood
Essentially a solo percussion record with few overdubs, Randy Gloss’s debut works as a study piece for the different instruments he uses as well as a soothing collection of music to relax to. His technical skill with a frame drum is evident on “Suburban Desert Oasis”, on which he works the seven beat pattern with lyricism and control. On the multipart “From McBean to Hasley Cyn”, Gloss employs a pandeiro (Afro-Brazilian tambourine) to great effect, mimicking the kick drum and backbeat and using the jingles to fill in the space orchestrally. There are improvisations for electronic drumkit (“Experiment of Nature of Water #1”), hypnotic gong pieces (“Warmer Waters”), and an extended tabla performance (“In a Cycle of Nine”), so you get to experience diverse styles and Gloss’s accomplished execution. And if the one-man percussion vibe isn’t your thing, you can simply chill to this on a Sunday morning." - Ilya Stemkovsky, Modern Drummer
Read more...

Percussive Notes

Album Review
"The fact that he is one of John Bergamo’s most astute students is evident throughout the album as Randy Gloss’s performances and ideas exude homage to the great American percussion master on this debut solo recording. The recording is available as a CD, digital download, and double-gatefold vinyl LP from Orenda Records with detailed liner notes on each piece. My only criticism is that the colors and fonts chosen for the cover and liner notes are difficult to read in hard copy.

That said, the album is worthy of much praise as not only do we hear Gloss is an impressive assortment of performances, but one can finally hear solo performances by this outstanding musician who for much of his career has been heard in ensemble and soundtrack contexts (which I have always found to be as equally impressive). The recording quality has a humble clarity to it that makes you feel as if you are attending a private solo concert by Gloss, who possesses an unassuming quality coupled with a deep talent to express musically that I have long admired. His varied background in jazz drumming, Western percussion, and a variety of world percussion traditions offers the listener an engaging kaleidoscopic musical experience, and this album delivers impressively in the technical aspects of his performances and the creative genesis of his compositional style.

The album begins with the improvised introduction “Warmer Waters” for Chinese and South Korean gongs, water gongs, and water timbres. Gloss’s ever impressive pandeiro playing is featured in three solos in five beats each on “From McBean to Hasley Cyn Parts 1–3.” A more light-hearted approach and a nice choice in variety are the improvised pieces “The Hang” for handpan and caxixi and “Experiment on the Nature of Water #1” for electronic drumset featuring an array of digital percussion soundscape timbres. “Prelude to the Onion” is the densest piece on the album in 33 beats (in three cycles of 11 beats in Raag Malkauns and a quote from John Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme”), featuring Gloss overdubbing himself on drumset, Paiste melodic gong set, and kalimba in a grooving and swinging showcase that at times made me feel like Elvin Jones had been channeled. “Suburban Desert Oasis” (dedicated to John Bergamo) is a solo on an 18-inch Cooperman tar in seven beats in three sections each requiring a different grip (freehand, lap style, and hand-held, respectively). There is at once an original style to Gloss’s frame drumming in his use of Bergamo techniques with the Persian riz and Carnatic rhythmic cadences. “In a Cycle of Nine” closes the album with a tabla solo in nine beats with tala, tamboura, and swarmandel accompaniment. For percussionists, this album is an opportunity to hear one of America’s great percussion virtuosi in a solo context in which Randy Gloss quite literally brings you a percussion worldview few have to offer. —N. Scott Robinson, Percussive Notes
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