James Schroeder - Mesa Buoy LP

James Schroeder - Mesa Buoy LP

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Dear Listener,

This recorded material is one end of a stubborn vision that infected my writing process for the better part of a decade. Pieces floating in one sketched form or another, hauled from basement to basement like a cinder block matryoshka doll. Toiled slowly and steadily between tours and recording with other groups.

First in Lincoln, then Omaha. First a guitar, then a tape or a cell phone recording, maybe a keyboard and a computer program. A handful of different ensembles, too. No matter what, there was always something familiar that needed pried out with repetition and idle fascination.

A solid group was eventually formed, and with the structures already in place the labor became suspiciously simple. Chords were scribbled on a piece of paper until all of a sudden a cello appeared. An electric piano and pedal steel arrived and unfurled new textures. Thoughtful, dynamic bass and drums grazed our presence. Everyone snuck in all at once, convincing the others that they’d been there all along.

After that, we took it out of the basement, playing shows at different venues and gallery spaces under the name Jim Schroeder Sextet. When asked to appear, a text message roll call would establish the roster. Arranging a quick refresher rehearsal before the performance was common. It was all casual like this for a year or so before bringing it to the studio, plugging in and pressing record. A picture of the doll assembled.

In addition to these wrought compositions we also set out to record an hour long version of the last track Fritz & Toby. It is parts cut from that sprawling improvisation which you will hear on the first and fifth tracks of the album. The sound of the group Mesa Buoy. 

Caught and released – I give you one end of this beguiled process, with a hope that you may find a piece of the same fascination I’ve visited throughout these years.

-James Schroeder