Open Water As a Child, by saxophonist Tim Haldeman was originally conceived as a one-off concert for the Ann Arbor Jazz Festival. Tim says of the work, “The concert was a love letter to our friends and neighbors in Flint, who’ve been enduring the tragic results of the total failure by those ‘in power’. I needed a way to express my anger and sadness, so I reached out to some friends. ‘Send it out,’ Neil Young once said. Everyone involved in Open Water embraced that spirit.”
The musical arrangements are loose, leaving space for the musicians to improvise. “Recently my favorite thing about playing music is to explore how a piece can grow unpredictably into something new. What I wrote was a launching pad for the musicians. I wanted to hear what everyone would do with it.” Chicago-based poet John Goode was invited to collaborate on the project and the resulting performance was a melodic firestorm of emotion.
Joining Haldeman is alto saxophonist Dan Bennett, trumpeter Justin Walter, and cellist Jordan Schug; they have all been performing together for many years, including new quintet recordings by both Schug and Bennett. Walter and Bennett are members of Colin Stetson’s ‘SORROW’ – a re-imagining of Gorecki’s 3rd symphony. Walter recently worked with Stetson scoring the film ‘Hereditary’, and his own records include ‘Unseen Forces’, ‘Lullabies & Nightmares’, ‘A Call to Arms’, and ‘Stars’.
Rounding out the ensemble is drummer Jonathan Taylor and bassist Ben Willis, who currently make up half of the rising group ‘Saajtak’. From Sonic Circuits (Washington, D.C.): “Saajtak live smelts its sonic influences into a maelstrom almost orchestral in nature and theatrical in its depth. John Goode is the author of the poetry collections, “Graduating from Eternity” and “Beauty and the Unrequited Landscape,” both available on Rain Mountain Press in NYC.
The cover art, by Devin Ulery, was inspired by a dream Haldeman had while working on the music.
Tim Haldeman currently lives in Ann Arbor, where he leads his own trio in addition to performing and recording with a variety of groups and musicians including Mike Reed’s People Places and Things, Greg Ward’s 10 Tongues, Matt Ulery, Will McEvoy, and Tim Flood among others.
DEE DEE MCNEIL
“Haldeman is the pianist, the tenor saxophonist and the flautist on this recording. As the composer, his music is open and artistic like Goode’s poetry. They make a stunning pair, tied at the hip by the freedom they exude in both contemporary music and poignant spoken word.” Read the full review here.
"Haldeman, Bennett, Walter and Schug have played as a unit for many years, and there is a tightness in the way their twist and turn like a murmuration of starlings on the more complex sections." Read the full review here.
GEORGE W. HARRIS
"Haldeman wails while Taylor flails on “Take This Drifter” Goode gets more morbid in lyrics with contrasting pretty piano to close out the night at the beatnik lounge on “Bird’s On Fire.” Only a reading from Jack Kerouac is missing from this night of free form musings."
Read the full review here.
BIRD IS THE WORM
"Haldeman’s sextet works from a foundation of introspection, which has its own appeal to be sure, but it’s when the ensemble builds up to a raging intensity that the stunning beauty of this album is truly unleashed." Read the full "Best of 2018" feature here.
BIRD IS THE WORM
"This recording resonates...with a strength that just keeps gaining intensity with each subsequent listen." Read the full review here.
SYDNEY MORNING HERALD
"Haldeman, who plays flute or, more often, searing tenor when not accompanying Goode, favours transparent textures, emotional enigmas and high stakes..." Read the full 4.5 star review here.
"What began as an homage to Flint, Michigan at the Ann Arbor Jazz Festival has resulted in one of the more powerful recordings to hit the shelves in 2018." Read the full review here.