Released in August 2010 on Not Two Records, self titled album/band "Hard-Boiled Wonderland":
- Ben Goldberg - clarinets
- Sheldon Brown - alto, tenor soprano saxophones
- Ava Mendoza - electric guitar
- John Finkbeiner - electric guitar
- Smith Dobson V - vibes
- Vijay Anderson - drums, bowls
- East Oakland Reverie
- A Widow's Last Penny
- Swimming in a Black Well
- March at the End of the World
In 2007–2008 I was involved with two trios. Ben, Sheldon, and I did a baffling six-month stint at a crepe restaurant. Not long after that, John, Ava, and I began to gather erratically. I found both trios intriguing—they were alike, and they were disparate. I liked that each had an expansive yet unique take on collective improvisation. I suggested the two groups get together and play. After our concurrence someone suggested we document it… and just like that, we did. I enlisted Smith to fulfill a lighter, more melodic role as co-percussionist.
I think of this as a double trio, and as I am its instigator, my name appears as if I were its leader. I have taken care of most of the logistical details; otherwise, this is an egalitarian venture. The music was improvised without preconception or direction from me or anyone else. The only thing I strongly suggested was that the personnel alter from piece to piece. And it was my decision to embellish the first piece with more layers (bowls, guitars). That is the only overdub.
From fancy to fruition, this has been quite a voyage. I am very happy with what we’ve done. I was lucky to be surrounded by players of such intuition, generosity, and acumen. I commend them for their time and energy.
The name of this sextet comes from Haruki Murakami’s novel, Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World.