When Rob Mounsey and I finally got around to preparing the pieces for this recording, we placed no pre-conceived categorical boundaries on the music. Like "LOCAL COLOR," its Grammy nominated predecessor, "YOU ARE HERE" seems to operate in a territory all its own. When pressed to describe the music, the best I can usually come-up with is that it is, at times, some kind of contemporary Latin jazz or perhaps World Music jazz. One can hear the clear influences of Brasil and West Africa as well. Still and all, the spirit of improvisation, in HOW the music was composed, and in HOW it was performed and recorded, makes for something uniquely American. Now, some 11 years after "LOCAL COLOR," this CD again finds me only playing acoustic guitars with the weight more on the nylon-string this time. For me, another key element to the success of the music is the presence of Marc Quiñones on timbal, congas, & bongos. The power and fire he brings to tunes like: "Clafouti"; "Platanos Maduros"; and "Peanut Soup" is truly extraordinary. "Anhelante" is my subtle tribute to the keyboard harmonies of Clare Fischer and is beautifully performed by Rob. The recording also serves as a showcase for Rob's gorgeous orchestral colorings of the compositions. It would be our hope that listeners will put aside the need for labels and simply enjoy the music.
Photo: "Civil War" Steve, by Richard Laird