1. On The Edge 5'19
2. Mr. Cool 5'50
3. McMinor 7'09
4. Mind Over Matter 5'56
5. Minor Matters 5'29
6. Try Tone Today 5'20
7. Terrabill Blues 3'52
8. Nobody Yet To 4'47
9. It Be Fm 5'05
10. Brasilia 6'46
Total Time: 55:33
Bill Connors - Guitar
Bill O'Connell - Piano
Lincoln Goines - Bass
Kim Plainfield - Drums
Produced by Kim Plainfield and Pat Thrall
Engineered by Michael McCoy at The HIT FACTORY, NYC
Mixed by Pat Thrall at The HIT FACTORY, NYC
All Tracks Composed by Bill Connors
Except "On The Edge", "Mind Over Matter" Composed by Bill O'Connell
and "Brasilia" Composed by John Coltrane
"McMinor" is Arranged by Kim Plainfield
Special Thaks To:
Ulrich Vormehr and Mike Varney for their belief and support of this project
Zoe Thrall and the staff at The HIT FACTORY, NYC
Bill Connors has always surprised me.
That's what a true artist should do.
A true artist does not live by anyone else's rules and only moves when the spirit moves them and not by what will sell more product or make them appear hip.
A true artist makes art for himself or herself first. Sometimes the public recognizes it the same year or so it is created - sometimes it can take decades, or more often, never. That's the risk but that is also what makes true artistry exciting.
The first time I discovered Bill's artistry was a complete surprise. In 1973 I went to see Chick Corea with my old friend and co-producer on this record, Kim Plainfield. We had seen Chick the year before on the Light As A Feather tour, which was mainly acoustic instruments, except for Chick's clean Rhodes sound. We thought we would be hearing more in that musical context on this night and get to check out Chick's new material. Kim and I arrived late and as we were coming through the lobby we heard what sounded like a rock band playing the music we were aspiring to play. As we got to our seats it was a revelation to see Marshall amps on stage and hearing Chick and Stanley using distortion. I was stunned and soon realized that the guitar player was doing things with a British sound and vibrato mixed with jazz that I had only dreamt of doing to that point. It was an entirely new voice on the guitar. Bill's playing; vibrato and tone were absolutely unique to him. I was immediately gravitated to what he was doing and began my study of his playing. You can hear his influence on my playing in a soio I played on the track "There is A Way" off the first Automatic Man album.
Bill left Chick's band and after guest appearances on a couple of albums, he decided to explore the acoustic guitar. Yet another surprise. Most guitarists achieving as much acclaim would try to do something bigger but Bill chose to explore himself on a deeper level as a musician. This is artistry over celebrity. Then Bill re-emerged in the 80's with a whole new voice and tone on the instrument. Yet another surprise. He modified his signature wide vibrato over to a much more legato style in his soloing and now utilized the finger picking technique he had developed on the acoustic guitar with stunning results on the electric. He made three records in that period and then became disillusioned with the recording industry. Now after a decade and a half, Bill emerges yet again with another surprise. He has abandoned the racks of effects and custom solid body guitar, to explore the purity in a Gibson L5 and a meticulously crafted custom amp that he built himself. No pedals, no effects, just pure tone. As opposed to finding a sound with the latest outboard gear, Bill is now exploring the subtleties of the instrument with only a cable between his instrument and his amp. I hope when you listen you'll enjoy the surprise as much as I have.
Pat THRALL, NYC, September 2004
I vividly nember my first encounter with Chick Corea's "Hymn Of The Seventh Galaxy" was already firmly ensconced in my attraction to fusion music
and certainly the demands and freedoms that this style provided drummers. Chick's
album added a new dimension to fusion music.
We had Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew", The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report and Herbie Hancock's "Headhunters".
Each band had its unique blend of styles and Chick found a mixture
that worked hard on the Jazz, Afro Cuban, Brazilian and Funk elements. I loved it
and I wanted to play music that emulated it. It moved me and I was deeply touched
by the guitar playing of Bill Connors. This was the first time that I had heard the
rock sound coupled with the jazz concept. There was such a lyrical soaring quality
about what Bill was playing. It had a grace, a powerful, full, phat grace that was
unprecedented. I made a vow to myself that I had to play with this cat.
My dream was realized in 1985 when I recorded "Double Up" with Bill Connors
and in the following year, "Assembler".Those were very special times for me and
I was always so thankful for the opportunity. Throughout all my travels up to the
present, people all over the world expressed their interest and gratitude for those
recordings.This element never seemed to fade and approximately two years ago I
made a proposal to Ulrich Vormehr, president of ESC Records, to record another
Bill Connors record. Well the pieces fell together and I received another wonderful gift.
I was afforded the opportunity to coordinate, produce, and record with
Bill Connors and to do it the way we felt was right. The first call was to my long time
brother Pat Thrall, we would produce it together and Pat would mix the recording.
Pat's wife ZoeThrall, now the general manager of The Hit Factory in New York City,
secured our recording venue. (This is five star recording environment.) We were
joined by the engineering talent of the up and coming Michael McCoy.
Finally, my dear musical brethren, Lincoln Goines and Bill O'Connell, jumped on board to
complete the team. This experience was like glass, just effortless, inspiring and
certainly good fun. We didn't want it to end because we were sincerely moved by the whole event.
Our hope is that this music can shine a glow on your heart and sprinkle a bit of spice as well.
Kim PLAINFIELD, NYC, September 2004