The recording of 'Riversticks / The Ferryman's Release' CD

Percussionist Michael Moses put together the trio called Riversticks with myself (Richard Brookens) and drummer/percussionist Abbey Rader. We had been working on a world fusion / free jazz concept using percussion and woodwinds from Africa, Asia, and South America, for a few months and had done a number of concerts and events. Michael knew someone in Italy who liked our music and wanted to use it for his Website. Somehow he got us a recording session at a beautiful facility in Wellington, Florida, owned by Marilyn Seits.

It happened that the night before we were to record there was a fire where I was living and except for my instruments, I lost most of what little I owned (I had been flooded out of my previous apartment two months before that). I wasn't sure where I would be staying in the near future, under a bridge or with friends, or if maybe I should move on to San Francisco or New York. I didn't want to miss the opportunity to record with two of the best percussionists I'd ever played with so I showed up with my car full of Saxophones and flutes. I was definitely in a rare state of mind. It's hard to even explain but I felt a certain righteous freedom from the cares of the world. I needed to play through this crisis.

We went in and played free music for six hours. It was an amazing night. I was situated in the drum booth with a little window to look through and the percusionists Michael Moses and Abbey Rader were in the main room because their equipment took up so much space. They had Ashiko drums, Tar, Clackers, Mbira, Congas, Bongos, Talking Drums, Drum Set, Bass Kalimba, Vibes, Bamboo Anklung, lots of cymbals and Gongs, Triple Chamber Ocarina, and Wah Bells, and all kinds of other little noise makers. I brought my Soprano and Tenor Saxophones, Alto Flute, and about a dozen bamboo flutes from India, China, and Pakistan.

The plan was to just play and let each piece develop from the instrumentation. I could only see part of the room where they were, but time after time when they would begin to play I would pick up a flute or horn and it would be in the right tonality and/or have a beautiful blend with whatever instruments they chose. When we were done we just shook our heads and laughed at what an incredible night it had been.

Michael Moses sifted through the tapes, took the most interesting hour and we had a CD.

Read the complete review, and about the musicians and instrumentation of 'Riversticks / Ferryman's Release'.