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Fusion of Minds


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This is a retitled and remixed version of my earlier submission, Mindreader. I jiggered with the levels and used a different curve to compress the file. I just wanted to make sure the correct title was in my song list, as an archive. (I've tweaked most of the tracks since posting them, following member's suggestions and after hearing them on different systems, but I'll wait to share those once the CD is ready.)

As I listen to this over and over, preparing the pre-release CD, what I enjoy most about this recording is that it is acoustic jazz fusion. As I think back to my favorite fusion pieces, many by Weather Report, most of them involve some sort of electric instrument. Or, most have a larger group with a larger pallet of reads and horns to draw from. It's fun to hear this genre with a quartet feel. It gives it more of a Brecker Brothers vibe.

Again, the killer sax of my friend Woody Mankowski drives this recording for the whole 6 and a half minutes.

Note, what I had been calling my "Project 2010", since it took me until 2011 to complete, I've renamed The Muller's Wheel.

Here are all the draft/demo tracks from The Muller's Wheel on MJ:

Seafood Gumbo Bop
Oasis On The Rocks
Saddle Shoe Sally
Lost In The West Village
The Müller's Wheel
Windowshade
Fusion of Minds
Struttin' Up Bourbon
River Runs Through Me
Forrest's Fire

Vocal variations of this series:
Seafood Gumbo w/ AngelaHope

If you haven't heard much of my jazz stuff, please check out all the draft mixes that ended up on the album RAIN BATHER. Maybe start with I Wanna Fly. Woody also plays on most of those songs.

Please check out the finalized CD on CDBaby: The Muller's Wheel - Tobin Mueller & Woody Mankwoski
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Song Stats
Hits: 2880
Comments: 46
Fans: 22
Plays: 135
Downloads: 71
Votes: 6
Uploaded: May 05, 2011 - 09:41:20 AM
Last Updated: Jul 07, 2011 - 09:17:34 AM Last Played: Mar 21, 2017 - 08:24:53 PM
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Comments
drakonis said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
scampers like crazy
This scampers through various genres, but with power and verve, like a jackrabbit on steroids, I love it. The piano is great of course, as is the sax. If it were me, I would lower the volume on the main (snare?) drum that often seems slightly loud in the mix. So good to hear you posting something, Tobin!
ttfn,
Drakonis
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TobinMueller said 2321 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
jackrabbit on steroids
Thanks. I threw in some R&B, even tho I am unable to sustain true R&B, but really wanted to explore late 70s and early 80s fusion, which by itself straddles rock and jazz and mainstream "white" funk. As a composer/arranger, I rarely feel comfortable settling in on a single style. If I'm not changing keys or meters, I'm changing styles. A cheap way of maintaining interest. But I love "scampers" as a verb. Sounds young and crazy, I dig that.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
sloparts said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Glad to hear from you again my friend
And this is a hell of a way to make some cool sounding noise. Love the piano and sax, but I think I have to agree with Drak on the snare, which, although it infuses a certain energy into the piece, seems at some place to be a little too hot in the mix.

That said, this is a great piece of music Tobin and is outstandingly played and recorded.

Bravo Maestro, thank you so much for the D/L and for sharing this awesome bit of Jazz Fusion with us.

Ed
Check out my latest song called Quack's Blues
TobinMueller said 2321 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
Old friends
It is great to have evidence we are still alive! What I like best about this is that it, in my mind, legitimized the idea of "fusion jazz" by remaining acoustic. Weird, that it took that. But music that took tweaked synth sounds or wah wah pedals assigned to the organ or some other electronic cleverness to make it groove and penetrate always seemed somehow illegitimately cool. LIke a hipster. Playing it acoustically made me say to myself that the music itself is a way cool genre as strong and legitimate as a genre as any other subgenre of jazz. Altho I am kind of embarrassed about such a confession...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
RochaMalhada said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
candid
This mix is great, the wind is spot on in the levels. Great jam

. - Harold
Check out my latest song called Ascent of a Tree (w Mike_D & FEEL)
RochaMalhada said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
on that snare..
If you listen to this on smaller speakers - that snare is actually sitting just right, to my ears

. - Harold
Check out my latest song called Ascent of a Tree (w Mike_D & FEEL)
TobinMueller said 2321 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
Speakers of choice
Thanks. I have had a real problem mixing this project, since it seems more sensitive to speaker systems than any previous project. In my studio, the piano is too loud. In headphones, the piano is too close. In the car, the sax is too loud. In my iHome boombox, the mix is just right. I picked the iHome, since I imagined it down the middle. Glad to know you use little speakers too!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
falcef said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Fusion of Minds
Salve Tobin a jazz song good complete sounds and impro a group band beauty. Bye from Italy
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TobinMueller said 2321 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
Mediterranean ears
I always dig when you tune in. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
VicDiesel said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Cool
Great performances all around. Just a comment about the mix: I have monitors with pretty solid bass, and the bass in this track is hard to find. I think the bass conflicts with the bass drum (which is somewhat insistent, especially for a jazz track) in frequency range.
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TobinMueller said 2321 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
A true fan
I can always count on you to find something...
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
FEEL said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Tobin
Excellent tune. Your piano and that sax's is out standing.
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TobinMueller said 2321 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
Outstanding sax
Thanks, Texan. I think "man, what a great sax" every time I listen to the music of this project. Since I know what few notes are actually on the charts, and what he turns the music into, my admiration and enjoyment soars!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
davisamerica said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
"jigger and curve" ....
nice one ! BTW ,,,have to agree with Harold. Am listening to this one some Bose monitors and the snare sits pretty well in the mix. Anyway ... much enjoyed.
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TobinMueller said 2321 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
Southwestern ears
Thanks. Much appreciated.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
papag said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Ahhh-coustic
This has such an open sound. Nice mix.

thanks for the download :)
Check out my latest song called Chinese Flutes (first draft)
TobinMueller said 2321 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
Open sound
That's a nice phrase. It implies it all sounded like it was happening right to you. I was hoping for that. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
TobinMueller said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Joy
I enjoy these comments immensely. I've missed the interchange of compatriots at MJ. Thank you for chiming in.

While mixing this tune, I was extremely disappointed when I realized I could not lift the bass out of the drum's morass. I apologize for that, and to the bassist and the drummer. Sadly, the two were bussed together at the board. Making the bass louder made the bass drum absurdly loud. Lots of cool little organ details are lost in the mix too.

One of the great difficulties of mixing live performance is separating sounds. Raw tracks are, many times, not as separateable or flexible as tracks that begin as MIDI instruments or individual instruments each with their own mic. When I was young, fidelity meant very little, energy meant much more; that was mainly because I knew I could never achieve it. (Like most musicians, only a tiny fraction of things I've ever performed has been recorded, and the early years where on crummy two tracks.) Then, as the improvements in studio mixing improved and the cost of good equipment decreased, I became a devotee of better sound, and always admired those who could achieve great balance and fidelity. I worked on it for many years, and still try to achieve it. But as I've grown older, fidelity means about what it meant in my youth: a very nice addition if it can be achieved, but not essential in the long run.

I recall the first true jazz album I ever heard. It was a Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie double album. Some of the phrasing still serves as inspiration for me, especially in the first 4 tracks of this project. (Back then, I wanted to be a sax player. Alto sax was my first instrument until I was in my twenties, when I played with the Maynard Ferguson Band and realized I would never be a great sax player.) That Parker/Gillespie album might even have been a mono recording. I could barely hear the bass, and the ride cymbals drowned out the toms and snare. But I was listening to the sax, and it didn't matter. Remembering this consoles me when I cannot figure out how to make a track sound better.

Nothing can hide or blemish the great moments Woody creates in this song. Even my worst mixes brought joy as I listened. I appreciate those who know this, in their bones. And I also appreciate those who suggest ways to make the joy easier. But the joy, that is the true goal. Thanks for sharing it.

Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
lavalamp said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
How've you been?
Yeah, the sax sounds very sweet here. Cool vibe is set, so soothen to my ears. Thanks

LL
Check out my latest song called The Shallow People
TobinMueller said 2321 days ago (May 19th, 2011)
Sweet
Soothen, nice. I, too, love the balance between comfort, admiration, hip bliss, and simply pleasure when I listen to Woody play. Thanks for sitting in the club.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
PeterB7858 said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Absolutely shines...
Hi Tobin. Taking into account all of the posts before, there is still one thing that absolutely shines for me - the music. Your piano work sounds wonderfully fresh and Woody's sax playing is just fantastic. Really liked the upbeat nature of this piece. Thanks for the D/L. Regards, Peter.
Check out my latest song called Ships In The Night (w Sam D)
TobinMueller said 2317 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Upbeat
Thanks. This whole project was about the joy of playing, or, maybe more so, about how our joy of listening to those who came before or stood alongside us flow through the joy of our lives. I'm glad you liked the writing as well as the playing.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
egobandit said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
MAn you guys just shine
THose horns really stab you, such great separation to the mix, thanks for the download! Greatness!
Check out my latest song called You Can Try
TobinMueller said 2317 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Horns really stab
I too the bussed 2-track of the sax section and duplicated it, altered the EQ of each, panned them to opposite sides, and laid slightly differing reverb on each, to create a sense of space. I'm glad you liked the separate. That's something that took several experiments to get. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
MidiOrleans said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Sounds
Excellent Tobin!
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TobinMueller said 2334 days ago (May 6th, 2011)
Wait until my next post...!
Scotty, great to know you are listening in. I'm posting a tune inspired by my visit to New Orleans where you so graciously showed me around and into the under-the-surface history of the French Quarter and New Orleans music. I'm calling that track "Struttin' Up Bourbon". Hope you can hear that one as well.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
jiguma said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
As cool as ever
Thanks for re-posting this Tobin - it is such a treat to hear such classy performances. I'm becoming more and more aware of the challenges of live recording as I work with a band again, and I share your thoughts about energy and fidelity .... and joy!
I hope you're doing well - best wishes from Oz,
Neil
Check out my latest song called We End Up Being All The Same (42)
TobinMueller said 2317 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Working with a band
..also on a limited budget. There are time constraints. And, as I am usually also calling past IOUs and other ways to keep costs down, I cannot abuse time and patience. Thus the bussing at the board and the simplified pre-mix, the imperfect drum mic'ing, etc. I know what we hear in the mixing room, and what we feel as the players, can never really be translated to others outside the space and moment. More than anything, these recordings are personal memories I treasure. Thanks for reminding me of that.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
jdholliday said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
So happy to hear
this again and remixed, I loved it before and still do, I think you definitely separated the instruments better here, the distinction is clearer, crisper, it was fantastic before, and even better now, so good to hear you post sir!
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TobinMueller said 2317 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Improvement
Thanks. I'm glad you like this mix better. I certainly tweaked it enough! Glad the work was worth it. I am pleased to be done. Thanks for listening to the journey and helping out with ideas.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
alackbass said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Fusion of Minds
It's impossible to listen to this wonderful piece and not be thoroughly impressed and entertained! Downloaded!
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TobinMueller said 2317 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Downloaded
Thanks. I totally dig when I get an email from someone who says, "Man, I was sitting here and your song from whenever way back came up on the random pick of my ipod and it made me feel good." Hope I get picked by your random generator soon!
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
dave_b said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Fusion of Minds
This is just great. Bravo!
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TobinMueller said 2317 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Mindreading
Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Sigmund said 2335 days ago (May 5th, 2011)
Fusion of Minds
Phenominal playing. Woody's sax is extraordinarily good, and Tobin your piano solo starting at 2:25 is so well played and cool sounding, I'm almost disappointed when it ends. Congratulations on this one - it is truly great and timeless music! I really enjoyed listening - thanks!
Sig
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TobinMueller said 2317 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
2:25
My stamina for sustaining solos isn't what it used to be! But I was employing the "less is more" mantra throughout, always reminding myself that Woody is the real spotlit cat here. Thanks for pointing out the details on the edge of the lights, tho. I appreciate that.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
damiengh said 2334 days ago (May 6th, 2011)
Amazed
Amazed at how great this recording sounds.

Reminiscent of the great sounding album "Friendship"
( Grusin, Ritenour, Watts,& more) or Fourplay, or even early Jeff Lorber.

You got the chops, wowzer saxman, and superb studio skills.

This was a listening pleasure.


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TobinMueller said 2317 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Grusin
I am a Dave Grusin fan. I still would like to do an electric piano project. Maybe that'll be my next thing. I dug the e piano phase Grusin (and Corea and Herbie) went through. Thanks for placing me among those same cats I was paying homage to.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
ktb said 2333 days ago (May 7th, 2011)
Fusion of Minds
Aptly titled I think. There's a definitely chemistry you guys share. I'm really diggin the jazz-fusion piano work. Both rhythm and solo work. Its dizzy'ing in the talent department.
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TobinMueller said 2317 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
Fusion
I was going for a double entendre with the mind reading aspect and the fusion music style aspect. It;s great to play with someone you've know for 30 years, for sure. Thanks for getting dizzy with us.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Vic Holman said 2327 days ago (May 13th, 2011)
Fusion of Minds
excellent tune and very precise, but still with a lot of human touch. a great melody on the sax really rides on top of this. your piano work always a flair of the adventurous spirit
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TobinMueller said 2317 days ago (May 23rd, 2011)
adventurous spirit
Thanks. I like to think of myself as adventurous. A better term than restless. Some people consider jazz a snobby sort of music, but it is more about adventure, testing intellectual boundaries, and a kind of play that the rest of life doesn't often afford us. I hope a have a few adventures left in me.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
bigdaddycee said 2310 days ago (May 30th, 2011)
Fusion of Minds
....it's a true pleasure sitting here listening to this track....you truly know your way around the ivory's...great left hand comping.....fluid and precise right hand.....the sax player puts me in mind of Dave Coz....also the sax player from the Rippingtons comes to mind....wonderful listen and you have a new fan!

Peace!
Cee
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TobinMueller said 2300 days ago (June 9th, 2011)
True pleasure
Thanks. Swimming the ivory sea. If you ever want to use Woody in one of your recordings, let me know! I appreciate you listening in.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Ed Hannifin said 2310 days ago (May 30th, 2011)
Great feel, great intelligence...
...and despite an improvisatory vibe to it, it also feels flawless... Tone, tempo, interplay...

I assume that's you on piano, and you and your friend Woody are playing together really neatly... Behind that, I'm really getting into the drumming...It's subtly in the pocket, and maybe easy to miss, but really good....
TobinMueller said 2300 days ago (June 9th, 2011)
Intelligence
Thanks for noticing all those little things. Cutting away the 2 minutes on this track helped make it seem closer to "flawless", and I'm glad you liked it. The drumming on most of this project is simple and in the pocket, part of the traditional throwback feel we were going for throughout. I always like when people notice the background stuff. I also like that you commented on the intellectual cleverness, hopefully in the writing as well as the playing; I always strive for that. Thanks.
Check out my latest song called Momentary Undertow
Artist Info
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Name: Tobin Mueller
Location: Rowayton CT USA
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I am a professional musician, composer, playwright and director. I've led a charmed life. I'm married to fellow MJer Suzanne and MJer Twonicus is my son, who currently sings and writes for rock bands in the NYC, D.C. and Cleveland areas. My second s... [see more]

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