Come Together (album)
"Come Together" is an album by various artists, billed as "Guitar Tribute To The Beatles".
Allan plays a beautful version of “Michelle”, featuring the same band as on “None Too Soon”: Gordon Beck (who did the arrangement), Gary Willis and Kirk Covington. Allan’s solo is time capsule material.
CH: And [your recording of] "Michelle" had something to do with that, right?
AH: Well, no, that was just something that... [came along]
CH: There was quite a reaction to that piece [on Atavachron and otherwise] -- some reviewer wrote something about "Michelle"...
AH: Well yea h... That was just an opportunity to do something. But the way I was thinking about it was that it made me realize then, that when I play that kind of music or whatever, it’s the same thing; all I’m doing is playing over chord changes. So, whether I wrote them or didn’t write them, it makes no difference. And the thing is, sometimes I find it easier to play over things that’re other people’s music rather than my own. A lot of times people will say that you write a tune-basically to make it-easy for yourself, or whatever. But I never do that; when I write a piece of music, I write it with this thing, like the vision of the piece I wanted. Like for example, "Tullio" is a good example. I’ve never played a tune that was any harder than that for me to play through; in fact...
CH: Somebody-Paolo-writes, "How on Earth did it occur to Mike Mainieri to invite you to participate on Come Together [:Jazz tribute to the Beatles"-JP] ?"
AH: Absolutely no idea.
CH: Mike Mainieri somehow thought of you. Probably Michael Brecker recommended you, there.
AH: I doubt it.
AH: But it was... you know, I’m glad we did it, because we got the opportunity to do that thing with Gordon [Beck] -- that’s the first track that’d I’d done with Gordon in a few years. It was good.
KK: It was brilliant, Allan.
MP: Which track was that? The "Michelle" thing? That was phenomenal; that was great.
RF: Who is on the album you just did?
AH: About a year ago, I was asked to do a track on a Mike Mainieri album, which was a collection of different guitar players doing Beatles songs. It was pretty much last-minute, so he said, "Just pick a Beatles tune, record it, and send it." I called Gordon Beck, a fantastic piano player who was in from England, and he said he had a cool arrangement of "Michelle." I knew the tune was going to be in a straight-ahead vein, and there's only one bass player who comes to my mind when I think of that: Gary Willis. I know how it is with drummers and bass players, so I asked him who he wanted to play with. He said Kirk Covington, which was fine with me. We did the track and I sent it off. They liked it and it came out. I enjoyed working with those guys, so I decided to do an album that was slightly different than my normal projects. I hadn't written any new music, so it was perfect timing. There's only one original on the album, but the rest of them are jazz standards—a John Coltrane tune, a couple of Joe Henderson tunes, familiar tunes. I'm pleased with how it turned out.
-On your new album, the band exists of Gary Willis-Bass, Kirk Covington-Drums and Gordon Beck- Piano. This is a different band than you normally use. Why didn’t you use your own band?
I did a compilation album a few years ago where guitar players did their rendition of Beatle Tunes. When they called me I had two days left to prepare something. Coincidently, Gordon Beck, a good friend of mine and a great piano player was staying for a few weeks at my place. It was his idea to do a rendition of ‘Michelle’. Now, I’m a big fan of Gary Willis. Especially when he plays swing, he sounds fantastic. I know the conflicts that may arise between bass players and drummers, so I asked him with whom he liked to play and he said Kirk Covington. Funny, because that’s half of Scott Henderson’s band Tribal Tech. We did the song pretty fast and I really liked the way things turned out, so I decided to ask them again for my new album. The problem with my own band is that they’re living spread in all corners of the world. Chad Wackerman is currently living in Australia, Gary Husband is living in England, Skuli Sverison in New York and Steve Hunt in Boston. I can only get them together for a longer tour. In the past things turned out pretty OK, but the last tours we didn’t make a dime. I cannot keep asking these people to play for next to nothing. That’s why I have been looking for some musician’s in the neighborhood for some time now. I’m on the right path with Kirk and Gary, but at the same time I realize it’s impossible to find a replacement for somebody like Gary Husband. It’s also about finding a soul mate, somebody who’s on the same wavelength.’