|Out of the Circle is my ninth solo offering. Even with eight solo albums under my belt, each time I make a new album it feels as though I am making my first, and this time was no different. In fact, I really felt like I was undertaking something completely new. |
My idea and approach was to put together all my wishes and dreams over the years and from the past in one piece. From my point of view, I feel I succeeded in this quest. This could not have been done without the help of the incredible musicians who support me on this album, and who I have been playing together with throughout the years in my musical journey here in the U.S.
Up until now, every time I wrote music for an album, I felt slightly embarrassed. I don't know why. Maybe it's because I'm from Russia and not really confident in myself as a musician and composer. And maybe because I also don't feel confident compared to the level of the musicians with whom I'm playing. Because of this insecurity, I decided against trying out certain things while making albums in the past, things that I might like personally but felt that perhaps others might not like or accept. But this time, I decided to do what I really felt. It was a big decision and stance for me to take and might have been influenced by the fact that I am turning 40 this year. It is also no doubt due to the influence by the people I have been working with in the last several years, such as Dave Holland and Michael Brecker, both who always go for it no matter. Working with them, I realized that they approach things in that If something is not happen, you make it happen the next time and just go for it.
I feel that in the short amount of time I had to prepare for the album, I was lucky to be able to get it together. Last year and into this year has been incredibly intense with touring and working with various bands. I had almost no time off but I had the ArtistShare deadline which I couldn't ignore and was contractually obligated to fulfill. I had small windows available in the last couple months and somehow was finally able to concentrate and put my dreams and thoughts together. I was also fortunate to get all the guys together for the recording as everyone is always so busy and spread apart with their various tours. I couldn't imagine having anyone else play in the album, and don't know who I could have possibly subsituted if their schedules hadn't worked out. I was lucky enough to get the best engineer and the best studios and mastering. My wife helped me not only to coordinate everything, but also helped me emotionally and supported the project.
As coincidence would have it, I now have two albums coming out almost at the same time: this album, as well as a new album under the Criss Cross label entitled Prints to be released May 22, 2007. While the timing for their releases might be coincidental, the music is not. Prints is actually an epilogue for Out of the Circle, or even the part 1 to this album being part 2. I would suggest you check out Prints as well as I wrote many of the songs subconsciously in exactly parallel mood with certain songs on Prints.
For example the track "Path" on Prints relates to "Wind Dance" on this album. I only recently realized that both songs were written under the same circumstances; while "Path" was written on a train coming back from a Dave Holland gig in DC, "Wind Dance" was written a year later going on an plane to a Dave Holland gig somewhere. These two songs reflect my deep love and respect for Dave Holland and his music; I'm sure you can hear this.
Another correlation is "Mood III" in Prints and the title track to this album "Out of the Circle" (title track) which I feel have a connection to each other and is a continuum from one to the next. At one stage I was considering naming this song "Mood IV", and feel this could even be its alternate title. I feel there are similar if not the same colors shared between the two songs. This is of course just my perspective -- judge it any way you want.
In general, I tried to kind of create a story the best I could like I'm sure everyone does when creating an album, otherwise it doesn't make any sense. The whole idea of Out of the Circle is that I feel it's out of my circle of what I've done in the past. For many listeners who are aware of my previous works, I believe you will find that this album is more spread out in different directions. For me, however, it's actually a straight line and telling of what I'm about right now. I don't know how to name my style, but basically I have continued my style and also tried to introduce many other elements such as Brazilian and even going a little into a pop direction, again with the help of my wife. Throughout the years of our marriage, she has introduced me to a certain style of music which I gradually started to understand and appreciate more and more. Songs like "Afternoon Dreams" which I actually wrote originally for her album 4 Seasons in 2000 reflects my total respect for her style and music. I also included a song of she wrote "Sketches of Myself" which I really admire. (more...)
|"Wind Dance" from Alex Sipiagin's OUT OF THE CIRCLE|
Alex Sipiagin (trumpet/flugelhorn/piccolo trumpet; bass trumpet on "Sketches of Myself")
Donny McCaslin (tenor & soprano sax, flute)
Robin Eubanks (trombone)
Adam Rogers (guitars)
Henry Hey (keyboards)
Antonio Sanchez (drums)
Daniel Sadownick (percussions)
Scott Colley (bass)
Gil Goldstein (accordion)
Monday Michiru (vocals and programming)
Recorded at Avatar Studios, NYC; assisted by Chad Lupo
Additional recording at Bass Hit Recordings, NYC and One East, NYC
Mixed at One East, NYC; assisted by Yohei Goto
Engineered and Mixed by Dave Darlington
Mastered by Mark Wilder at Sony Music Studios
All tracks published by Two Winds Publishing Inc. (ASCAP) except "Afternoon Dreams" published by Universal Music-Japan
Photography: Keetja Allard
Photograph of Yakov Yakushev and Alex Sipiagin by Anton Sevastianov
Photograph of Adam Rogers by David Korchin
Photograph of Monday Michiru by Nikita Sipiagin
Photograph of Henry Hey by Takashi Matsuzaki
Art director: Christian Ericson