Far From Home: The New Album

Cover artwork "Far From Home" by Ellen Colcord.
www.ellencolcord.com

That this album was a labor of love goes without saying. The respect that we, Combo Nuvo have for the music and each other and the support we received from our fellow NYC musical colleagues who gave their talents to this recording made it an incredible experience for all of us.
(Read the complete liner notes below)


Album Tracklist:

1. Got My Soul Packed
2. Musique Nuvo
3. Ellen's Bossa Nova
4. Patience of a Saint
5. New Madagascar
6. Far, Far from Home
7. Tornobuoni
8. Silhouettes
9. Bruce Lee
10. Groove Time


Articles

Jazz Italian: Read the interview with Dave Schroder about Combo Nuvo and the new album.
Read the article >


Reviews

We'll continue to post reviews for "Far From Home" as they come in:

What can I say about the Far From Home CD other than the obvious? It’s truly great stuff. Your compositional sense and orchestration are virtuosic, awash in beautiful sounds. Remarkable string writing (and players!). And it has everything a lot of big band jazz don’t; feeling and emotions. If I picked a personal favorite, I guess it would be Patience of a Saint. A great title, too.
— Alan Broadbent
Combo Nuvo is an exciting sextet augmented with Jazz Orchestra, Strings & Brass. This is a fantastic recording featuring some of the finest musicians on the NY scene today. The Orchestrations written by Rich Shemaria frame the sextet with beauty and inspiration. I can feel the history of jazz in the music. From Thad Jones through Weather Report and Tower of Power into Steps Ahead and beyond… “Far from Home” felt like Home to me….
— Joe Lovano
This new Combo Nuvo CD is a treasure trove of ideas, influences, great playing and the brilliant writing of Rich Shemaria. Dave Schroeder’s voice is clear and beautiful on several instruments on this CD. It’s a special journey.
— Kenny Werner
David and I finally had a chance to listen to your CD and we wanted to tell you we both totally enjoyed it. Really Dave, great writing and playing!! And the arrangements and orchestrations were killing as well. Beautiful project. Thanks for sharing it.
— Dave and Caris Liebman
Just listened to Far From Home again and wanted to compliment you on the lovely inventive writing. Great sound and mix too. And Schroeder sounds great on harmonica. 
— Lou Marini

Album Session Photos

Click on the photos below to view high-resolution images


Combo Nuvo Musicians

June 6, 2011 

Bruce Lee
Composed by Dave Schroeder
Arranged by Rich Shemaria

Mike Richmond, cello solo
Dave Schroeder, chromatic harmonica solo

Got My Soul Packed
Composed and arranged by Rich Shemaria

Lenny Pickett, tenor sax solo

Ellen’s Bossa Nova
Composed by Dave Schroeder
Arranged by Rich Shemaria

Dave Schroeder, chromatic harmonica solo
Dave Bargeron, trombone solo
Lou Marini, soprano sax solo

Woodwinds
Lou Marini, alto & sop sax, fl.
Ben Kono, alto sax, fl.
Billy Drewes, tenor sax, cl.
Ralph LaLama, tenor sax, cl.
Frank Vacin, bc.

Trumpets
Seneca Black 
Tatum Greenblatt 
Jim O’Connor 
Andy Gravish 

Trombones
Dave Bargeron 
Alan Ferber 
Dan Levine 
Nick Grinder, bass tbn.

Bass
Mike Richmond 

Drums
John Riley

Patience of a Saint
Composed by Dave Schroeder
Arranged by Rich Shemaria

Rich Shemaria, piano solo
Dave Schroeder, soprano sax solo

Tornobuoni 
Composed by Dave Schroeder 
String arrangement by Rich Shemaria

Dave Schroeder, soprano sax solo

Silhouettes
Composed and arranged by Rich Shemaria

Dave Schroeder, soprano sax solo

Strings 
Patience Of A Saint, Tornobuoni, Sihlouettes
Jesse Mills, violin
Tom Chiu, violin
Max Mandel, viola
Paul Brantley, cello

Brass 
Silhouettes
Seneca Black, trumpet
Andy Gravish, trumpet
Dave Bargeron, trombone
Dan Levine, trombone
Nick Grinder, bass tbn.
R.J. Kelley, French horn
Eric Davis, French horn

New Madagascar
Composed by Dave Schroeder & Rich Shemaria
Orchestra arranged by Rich Shemaria

Dave Schroeder, sopranino sax solo

Strings 
Mark Feldman, violin
Joyce Hammann, violin                     
Lois Martin, viola
Jody Redhage, cello 

Brass
John Walsh, trumpet
Andy Gravish, trumpet
Dave Bargeron, trombone
Dan Levine, trombone
Chris Komer, French horn
Eric Davis, French horn

Percussion
Sean Statser, timpani, wood block, gong, triangle, cymbal

Tim Keiper, hand percussion (Tornobuoni, Silhouettes)

June 7, 2011

Far, Far From Home 
Composed by Dave Schroeder & Rich Shemaria
Arranged by Rich Shemaria

Mike Richmond, cello solo
Brad Shepik, acoustic guitar solo

Groove Time
Composed by Dave Schroeder 
Arranged by Rich Shemaria

Lenny Pickett, tenor sax solo
Brad Shepik, acoustic guitar solo

Musique Nuvo
Composed and arranged by Rich Shemaria

Lenny Pickett, Eb clarinet solo
John Riley, drum solo

Woodwinds
Jon Gordon, soprano sax, fl.
Ben Kono, alto sax, fl.
Billy Drewes, tenor sax, fl.
Ralph LaLama, tenor sax, fl.
Frank Vacin, bari sax, bc.

Trumpets
Seneca Black 
Tatum Greenblatt 
Jim O’Connor 
Andy Gravish 

Trombones
Dave Bargeron
Charlie Gordon
Dan Levine 
Nick Grinder, bass tbn.

Bass
Mike Richmond

Drums
John Riley


Combo Nuvo

Dave Schroeder
harmonica, blues harp, sopranino sax, soprano sax, alto flute

Lenny Pickett
tenor sax, Eb clarinet, alto flute

Brad Shepik
nylon string guitar, tambura

Rich Shemaria
piano, arranger, orchestrator, conductor

Mike Richmond
cello, bass

John Hadfield
percussion

 

Far From Home: Liner Notes

When we are far from home, we miss our families, our language and the comfort of knowing what’s around the next corner.  We travel in tight quarters, sleep in hard beds and eat food that would never appeal to us at home. But when we are far from home, we also feel invigorated as our music always takes care of us.  It nurtures us by connecting us to audiences who are as curious about us as we are about them.  

Wayne Shorter once said; Musicians possess a ticket to the universe.  What I think he is saying is that musicians have the ability to transcend familiar boundaries and comfort zones to find new adventures into the unknown.  With musical language as our passports, we access new ways to connect with people throughout the world. 

Most musicians understand the difficult path they have chosen, but they keep moving forward because they have learned there is no better way to stir their imagination.  Once Pandora’s Box has been opened, well, you know.  The musicians we were exposed to in our youth mesmerized us.  They gave us focus and inspiration to sustain our journey. And for some like us, as Robert Frost proclaimed “took the road less traveled, and that has made all the difference.”  

We are far from home, but this is where our journey begins…

Moving to New York City by the late 80s, I was exposed to so many influences and musical styles.  I had no idea that the City was so rich with fresh approaches to music that I had not been exposed to anywhere else before.  At that time, I could go to the Village Gate, Sweet Basil, or numerous other clubs that no longer exist, which left indelible marks on me.  I was just beginning to realize the work ethic required to be successful as a musician by following guys like Michael Brecker, Joe Lovano and Kenny Werner around the city.  What they had was what I wanted, but the thing that attracted me to them was their total confidence and command over music.  I was puzzled how these musicians could turn their audiences to stone, creating a calm that would transcend over the club.  I was in those audiences many nights when Kenny Werner was performing with Toots Thielemans or Joe Lovano was performing with Paul Motion or Mike Brecker was performing with Chick Corea.  After immersing myself in the scene as a listener for so many years, I began my longest journey: to find my voice in my own band with other musicians who had a similar point of view.

One of the first musicians I met upon my arrival to the City was Rich Shemaria, and it didn’t take long until we became musical friends and confidants.  We would organize and rehearse various groups to test out our new compositions, and for me, always with an ear to see what Rich would do with the music.  We grew up in very different circumstances; I was a small town Iowa boy, attracted to music through my father’s big band record collection and tagging along with him and my brothers to watch the various traveling show bands from Chicago that playing across the Midwest circuit.  Rich grew up in Southern California surrounded by a robust music scene.  He heard everything from the L.A. Philharmonic, Jimi Hendrix at the Forum and a multitude of great jazz musicians at places like Donte’s and the Baked Potato.  Continually honing his skills as a pianist, composer and arranger.  Fast forward to New York City by the late 80s where we had our first chance meeting at a big band rehearsal.  Eventually we would play in all types of groups together, club date bands, R&B bands, blues band, fusion bands and everything in between.  By the late 90s I suggested that we create a new group that would showcase our own music; creating a sound that was unique to the influences we were attracted to over the years.

The first task was to find our group name.  Instead of using our own names, we wanted to create something that sounded original and maybe a bit mysterious.  Since we were going to play new music, we thought, New Combo, and by adding a little more mysterious flare, Combo Nuvo was born.

Rich and I would constantly fantasize about the music we wanted to write and the musicians we wanted to play with, and somehow those fantastical ideas always came true.  We said, wouldn’t it be amazing to add Lenny Pickett’s soulful sax to the group, or how do we get Paul McCandless to play oboe with us?  Realizing that most of the artists we loved were only a phone call away, we called them and they said yes!  Our next fantastical ideas began by saying, “Hey, let’s figure out how to play with symphonies around the world,” so Rich began orchestrating.  Voila! Over the years we performed with various orchestras from Abu Dhabi, Costa Rica, Italy and Mongolia.  

When we decided that it was time to record our new project, we thought, how about Combo Nuvo with big band, or string quartet, or brass section? Well, we made them all happen on this recording with Rich writing his tail off, as usual.  As the musicians took shape, many legendary New York session musicians including Lou Marini and Dave Bargeron and musicians from the Vanguard Orchestra including Billy Drewes, Ralph Lalama and John Riley signed onto the project.  Everyone assembled over about a year’s time to complete our grandiose recording, Far From Home.

That it was a labor of love goes without saying.  The respect that we, Combo Nuvo have for the music and each other and the support we received from our fellow NYC musical colleagues who gave their talents to this recording that made it such an incredible experience for all of us.  We hope you feel the same way.

Liner Notes by Dave Schroeder