“The Long Road” presents a double CD of new compositions of BassDrumBone on the eve of their 40th anniversary as a collective trio. In celebration of this landmark occasion this recording also includes something the trio has never done before. Two special guests and friends of BassDrumBone, saxophonist Joe Lovano and pianist Jason Moran were invited to join the trio on the recording, each for three pieces in quartet arrangements of new and previous works of Mark Helias, Gerry Hemingway and Ray Anderson.
Most bands require a bandleader, whose musical sensibility shapes the sound. Each member of BassDrumBone have spent years leading their own bands. A true musical collective is a rare and usually short-lived phenomenon. The democracy often frays under pressures of career and artistic ambition. But BassDrumBone has endured and thrived on this long road. They have become a musical family, surviving the many twists and difficult turns in each of our personal lives, while still digging to find new riches, further possibilities, and the continued deep joy of making music together.
BassDrumBone is a trio that has wedded the uniqueness of it's instrumentation with the singular personality of it's three members. A true collective, their music combines three distinct compositional and improvisational approaches with an exceptional musical rapport.
Mark Helias, Gerry Hemingway and Ray Anderson began performing as a trio in the fall of 1977. Their first record, "Oahspe", was released in 1979 on the Auricle Record label (the same label that is releasing “The Long Road”). Bob Rusch in his review of the record, wrote: "Exceptionally good music, fearlessly played and tightly coordinated. Recommended."
In 1984 "Right Down your Alley" was released on Soul Note Records of Italy and in the beginning of 1986 "You Be" was released on the Minor Music label of Germany. Both records received acclaim from the European and American press including a five star review in Downbeat magazine for "You Be".
Next in 1988 came "Wooferlo" which was released on the Soul Note label. Ben Watson of Wire Magazine commented: "Each musician has a story to tell, the solos are stuffed with event and happenstance".
After 1988 the group went into a temporary dormancy while all three of its members pursued their own individual groups. In the fall of 1993 BassDrumBone became active again for a tour in Europe. A tour in 1996 yielded "Hence the Reason”on Enja Records and in March of 1999 BDB released some archival material from 1986-97 on an Auricle Records cd entitled "Cooked to Perfection". BassDrumBone celebrated its 25th year together with the release of "March of Dimes" on the Dutch label Data.On the eve of our 30th anniversary, Clean Feed released "The Line Up". Followed by "The Other Parade" also on Clean Feed in 2009.
And now on November 15, 2016 comes this very special double CD on the eve of their 40th anniversary in 2017.